PROCESSING – SELECTING RIGHT MATERIALS & MANUFACTURING
Applications in the healthcare industry and medical
devices in particular, have some demanding requirements
for polymeric materials. While polymers have been used in
the healthcare industry for decades, it has only been in
the recent past the designers have started to explore the
benefits of using special materials in the medical
Materials selected for use in new medical devices can have
major ramifications throughout the product lifecycle, from
design through testing, during regulatory approvals and
production, and in the build up to market adoption and
There are many considerations to keep in mind while
choosing a polymer for Medical Device viz Environment
during transportation and product use, Chemical
Resistance, Durability, Biocompatibility, Appearance,
Feel, Sterilization, Molding, Price, Weight, Recyclability
etc. Discussions analyzing two important aspects follows.
The first is related to selecting a polymer in direct
contact with the flow of drugs through a device. It is
required to look at the effect the material has on drugs.
Chemical resistance is also important, as the drugs should
not promote the materials degradation. Also the potency of
the drug should not be affected by the polymeric material
it is in contact with either via extraction of additives
and monomers, or via the chemical reactivity between the
drug and the polymer.
One more important aspect is regarding molding. It is
possible to make extremely precise design tolerances.
Complex, intricate features can be effortlessly included
with the help of rightly designed moulds.