Düsseldorf, Germany — New applications for liquid silicone rubber offer the potential to avoid invasive surgery. But development of the in-situ cure implant technology will take time.
That's according to Anthony Feng, vice president for biomaterials at NuSil Technology LLC, a Carpinteria, Calif.-based silicone materials producer.
"Application potentials are vast. But it takes time, also as we have to be responsible and do enough tests to support and encourage it," Feng said.
NuSil launched the LSR in-situ curing implant technology at the 2017 Compamed trade fair in Düsseldorf. At the 2018 show, Feng talked about progress for the material.
"I think if you look at in-situ cure, even though it is a year on now, I still think there are a lot of noninvasive surgery applications that are not known yet, where this material can be used. We have, meanwhile, a couple of new formulations for in-situ cure," he said.
Feng pointed out that the in-situ implant cure solution means the potential to avoid invasive surgery for medical devices.
"You can just inject the material and let it cure inside the body. But one of the biggest challenges is that when you get the material into the body, it needs to be sterilized and the type of packaging [syringe cartridges] we offer to deliver it allows ethylene oxide sterilization of the uncured material as it enters the body, allowing it to be safe in the body," Feng said.
He said NuSil customizes in-situ cure LSR for customers in terms of viscosity, cure profile and cured material physical properties.
"So that is a lot of collaborative work we do with our customers," Feng said. "A lot of tailoring, because it depends where in the body it is going, what function it plays and the time within which it should cure. All of this determines how we formulate the LSR for particular uses and for each particular customer."
As Feng admitted, there is great caution when it comes to putting silicone elastomers inside human bodies, and despite negative press on silicone breast implant problems in France, NuSil sees it less as a threat and more of an opportunity for the company to emphasize "how we make large investments in our resources to ensure we are compliant with the regulatory landscape."