A TECHNO-ECONOMIC NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEDICAL PLASTICS AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Our 12th Year of Publication
Page  2 of 3

Cover Story

Materials
Medical & Health Applications of Polycarbonate

Newly born babies are so vulnerable. Thankfully, plastic incubators provide a protected environment to keep them safe from infection and cold. The incubator dome is formed of a tough, transparent plastic such as polycarbonate so parents, doctors and nurses can watch and care for the baby safely. Smooth polycarbonate surfaces are easy to keep clean and can withstand disinfectants. Moulded-in openings allow doctors and nurses to care for the baby without letting the warmth out or infection in. The moulded openings also allow parents to hold and feed their babies while keeping them safe.

Life saving modern medical treatments rely on aids such as kidney dialysers, blood oxygenators, tube connections and many other components. Providing patients the protection they deserve, polycarbonate medical devices are reliable in a wide range of environments and fracture resistant even after repeated sterilisation. Due to its transparency, polycarbonate is excellent for oxygenators, dialysers and infusion units allowing easy detection of life threatening air bubbles.

Corrective eyeglass lenses made of polycarbonate are becoming more and more popular due to their low weight, which makes them comfortable to wear. Virtually unbreakable, polycarbonate lenses protect as well as correct vision. Polycarbonate can even be used to fashion corrective goggles for snorkeling and scuba-diving have allowed glasses wearers to see the wonders of the sea for the first time!

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate fills an important niche as one of the most popular engineering resins in the medical device market. Bisphenol-A polycarbonate has been commercially available since the 1960s, and its use in medical devices dates from approximately that time. Possessing a broad range of physical properties that enable it to replace glass or metal in many products, polycarbonate offers an unusual combination of strength, rigidity, and toughness that helps prevent potentially life-threatening material failures. In addition, it provides glasslike clarity, a critical characteristic for clinical and diagnostic settings in which visibility of tissues, blood, and other fluids is required. Because biocompatibility is essential for any material used in direct or indirect contact with patients, polycarbonate grades are available that comply with biocompatibility testing standards such as ISO 10993-1 and USP Class VI.

Polycarbonate can be processed with standard injection molding equipment. It can also be blow-molded into hollow containers or extruded into film, sheet, and thick- or thin-walled tubing. Polycarbonate sheet and film can be thermoformed into various complex shapes. For short-run devices or prototypes, polycarbonate rod and slabs can be cut, milled, and machined to the desired configuration.

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