Materials maker PlastiComp Inc. has formed a joint development agreement with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to develop medical products based on the firm's fiber-reinforced composites.
Composites made by Winona, Minn.-based PlastiComp can be used as alternatives to metallic materials. They bring value to the medical market because of their lower cost, lighter weight and corrosion resistance, officials said in an Oct. 24 news release.
PlastiComp already has made prototypes for design considerations and is in contact with the medical industry, officials added. The firm is seeking collaboration with existing medical product suppliers as well as other market-entry paths.
The Mayo Clinic — based in Rochester, Minn. — ranks as the first and largest integrated not-for-profit medical group practice in the world. The group employs almost 4,000 physicians and scientists and almost 51,000 allied health staff worldwide. The practice specializes in treating difficult cases and spends over $500 million a year on research.
PlastiComp operates two plants covering a total of 115,000 square feet in Winona. Earlier this year, the firm added a new long-fiber thermoplastic compounding line. At the time, President and CEO Steve Bowen cited medical as one of several markets that was growing for PlastiComp, creating the need for new production capacity.