A TECHNO-ECONOMIC NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEDICAL PLASTICS AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Our 17th Year of Publication
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Cover Story

Polymer acrylic –based multi polymer compounds

Acrylic molding compounds have been used in a variety of disposables medical devices. Typical applications have included diagnostic devices, IV filter housings, IV spikes and luer connectors. In these applications, acrylic based materials have high UV transmittance capabilities, good resistance to gamma, e-beam, and Eto sterilization methods and resistance to lipid found in patient fluid treatments and body fluid sample.

Initial applications utilized traditional acrylics, specifically polymethyl- methacrylate co –polymers, focused on the key properties transparency, ultraviolet light transmittance, and dimensional stability. Typical uses were cuvettes and cassettes, into which samples of body fluids were placed, treated with a chemical indicator and then UV detector was used to read a light intensity response through the sample at a certain wavelength or multiple wavelengths to measure a component level in the body fluids sample.

Modified acrylics expanded the scope of acrylic use in the medical device industry. These materials had greater impact resistance, up to 5 times the notched impact resistance of standard acrylic materials. They also demonstrated better chemical resistance than standard acrylics , especially to fats and lipids. This combination of toughness and chemical resistance, when combined with the clarity of acrylics , led to their use in many disposable intravenous sets as luer , spike and filter housing components.

Use of modified acrylic based materials has been common in rigid packaging applications. In addition to the toughness, chemical resistance and clarity of the product, the melt strength of the material provided excellent thermoforming characteristics, allowing good depth of draw for deep and intricate thermoforming requirements, as well as a wide processing window due to ability to maintain its ‘melt strength over a wide temperature range.

The progression of alcohol and lipid resistant acrylic – based materials :

As the use of acrylic-based materials in medical device applications has increased, new challenges for the materials have been faced, and addressed. The progression of challenges has moved as follows :

High Flow modified Acrylic : As the demand for economies of scale in production grew, the ability to mould in high cavitation, intricate, multi – cavity tool was created.

Radiation – stable modified acrylic : As sterilization methods became more important, and radiation sterilization methods became more common, the need arose for radiation – stable materials.

Lipid –resistant modified acrylic :

As treatment and drug delivery systems became more complex and aggressive, and the use of IV sets utilizing acrylic – based materials grew, these materials needed to demonstrate lipid – resistance capabilities.

An evaluation of a variety of medical device application requirements and material performance capabilities shows that the combination of physical properties, rheology, chemical resistance, static dissipative and sterilization capability of acrylic – based materials provides unique performance benefits for certain medical device applications.

Modified acrylics demonstrate an improvement over polycarbonate and transparent ABS materials in their ability to resist attack from isopropanol, maintaining a higher absolute and percentage retention of tensile elongation capability.

Medical Applications of Acrylic – based Multipolymer Compounds :

Polymer acrylic – based multipolymer compounds are transparent, impact- modified compounds that offer exceptional chemical resistance, high heat deflection temperature, outstanding impact strength and simple processing.

(A) Common Medical Applications :

  • Luer locks

  • Dialyzer housings

  • Protection caps and covers

  • Blood / plasma separators

  • Collection and specimen vessels

  • Connectors and injection ports

  • Catheter accessories

  • Chest drainage units

  • Valve assemblies

  • Meter housings

  • Flow controls

  • IV and lab filter housings

  • Drip chambers

  • IV adapters

  • Yankauers

  • Inhalation mouthpieces and spacers

(B) High Chemical Resistance Grade Medical Applications :

  • Medical packaging competing with PETG

  • Paper and soap dispenser housings

  • Appliance housings

  • Vacuum canisters

  • Food packaging

Medical Applications for pure PMMA :

  • Diagnostic cuvettes

  • Diagnostic test packs

  • Optical sensor view ports

  • Crystallography trays

  • Microfluidics

  • Rotors

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