Which medical grade polymer is right for you?


We know that material choice is a crucial component of any medical device or device housing. When you're deciding what medical grade polymer you need for your next project, consider these criteria:
  • Does it make the grade?
  • Will it match the application?
Selecting the right medical grade polymers helps ensure your device complies with quality and biocompatibility standards-and that you have reliable support for regulatory approvals. Different polymers offer different combinations of strengths that help ensure performance in specific medical applications.
 

Navigating the complexities of compatibility with oncology drugs


The need to mitigate infection risks and enhance patients’ safety and comfort has significantly increased the demand for higher-performing plastics with improved chemical resistance. Many polymers commonly used in drug delivery devices simply do not hold up to modern oncology chemotherapies. After exposure to chemicals in the medical environment, devices made with these polymers can experience environmental stress cracking or premature failure in the presence of applied or residual stress.
 
Broken devices put patients at risk. What's more, regulatory agencies may tell manufacturers to stop using certain materials when device performance or life cycle is compromised.
 

Eastman Tritan™ copolyester—superior attributes for medical devices


Eastman Tritan™ copolyester is raising the bar for durability and cleanability in medical devices and housings. BPA-free Tritan’s attributes include exceptional clarity, toughness, improved heat and chemical resistance, and more. It’s also easy to process due to its unique chemical makeup relative to traditional thermoplastics. This blend of processing and performance properties provides greater advantages compared with other commonly used polymers. Available in clear and opaque formulations, Tritan offers many benefits to enhance innovative device designs:
 
Clear formulations of Tritan
  • Greater toughness, heat resistance, processability, and design freedom

Educating product managers on how plastics affect your brand

 

The material you choose for your medical devices can have a big impact on your brand's image. In today's healthcare environment, not all plastics can withstand exposure to the aggressive disinfectants being used in hospitals. If your device is showing outward signs of suffering from exposure to effects of disinfection, including yellowing, cracking, crazing, or paint peeling, it's time to reconsider material selection.

 

Keys to classifying failures for quality engineers


Medical device failures are a common-and costly-occurrence. They can lead to a product recall, affect the product development cycle, and result in extra expenses for manufacturers. The reasons devices fail can be complex, making it difficult for quality engineers to classify the problem.
 
What can quality engineers do to remedy this problem? Consider these factors:
 
  • Understand why failures occur: Most device failures are caused by a misunderstanding of how a material’s properties, processing, and environment work together. In many cases, failures can result from a combination of wrong material selection, poor chemical resistance, high-stress design, or inconsistencies in manufacturing processes.
  • Collaborate with your supplier: Working with material suppliers on material selection, testing, part and tooling design review, and secondary operations can give quality engineers access to knowledge and resources they may not otherwise have.

Creating strong bonds with LSR technology and Tritan

Medical devices and housings are getting a surge of chemical resistance and impact strength thanks to the integration of new liquid silicone rubber (LSR) technology with medical grades of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester. Momentive’s Silopren LSR 47×9 series provides strong in-mold adhesion with Tritan—without the need for primers.
 
Clear and opaque grades of Tritan have a lower Tg and require a lower processing temperature than other engineering polymers. Because Silopren LSR 47×9 can cure rapidly at relatively low temperatures, it’s possible to achieve optimal functional performance and efficient processing with Tritan.

This combination is ideal for applications that require properties like handling comfort, waterproofing, durability, and aging stability. Incorporating LSR technology enhances the advantages of Tritan, which include:
  • Outstanding chemical resistance
  • Excellent impact strength and durability
  • Made without bisphenol A (BPA) and halogens
  • Superior noise-damping characteristics

Four steps for testing housing material performance

When exposed to commonly used aggressive disinfectants and drugs, many materials used in medical devices can crack, craze, discolor, and become sticky. Currently, there are no industry standards for evaluating surface compatibility. That's why Eastman developed a 4-step test method based on ASTM standards to better understand why plastics fail and how different plastics perform in the real world.
 
This simple, easily-repeatable test can help predict the reliability of a material after exposure to harsh cleaners and drugs commonly used in hospital settings. The method uses a 1.5% constant strain jig together with wet patches for applying chemical reagents. Here's how it works:
  1. Select the appropriate jig.
  2. Load flex bars onto jig.
  3. Apply chemicals to the flex bars.
  4. Perform reverse side impact test.

A preferred supplier that goes the extra mile

At Eastman, we go above and beyond the typical duties of a preferred supplier. Unlike many of our competitors, Eastman provides you with regulatory and technical services to help you through the manufacturing process-at no extra cost to you. This guidance, along with access to our high quality, innovative materials, will elevate your brand and ensure that you're optimizing our polymers for your devices.
 
Our regulatory group stays current with global regulatory changes and makes this information readily available to the market. We provide you with all the necessary regulatory information for the safe use of our polymers, including details on compliance with Food and Drug Administration standards, chemical and mechanical properties, and more.
 
We also offer premium technical service for all aspects of the molding process, from conception through bringing your product to market. Eastman Design Services capabilities include:
 

Eastman Innovation Reaches Times Square

















Eastman innovation in the medical market reaches coast to coast this week from this billboard in Times Square to MD&M West in California. Talk about the “wow” factor! To see upcoming MD&M West 2018 recap posts visit our Eastman Medical Polymers Linkedin page.

Join Us at MD&M West 2018!

Eastman will be exhibiting at Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2018 February 6-8, 2018 in booth 2401.

 

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