May-June 2019

Medical Plastic Data Service Magazine



Our 27th Year of Publication
Page  1 of 6


Cover Story

Global Trends in Medical Plastics Technology and Applications

Dr. Ajay D Padsalgikar, Ph.D.
DSM BioMedical Pennsylvania, USA


Medical science continues to advance in both disease treatment strategies and the understanding of medical conditions. Concurrent with these advances in health care, there is an increased use of medical devices targeted to treat several conditions. The global market for medical devices is estimated to be around $400 billion. With an increasingly aging population, greater governmental involvement and newer emerging markets, the worldwide medical devices market is expected to grow at a rate of 6% per annum for years 2019-2024 (Ref: The Global Market for Medical Devices, 4th Edition – Kalorama information). More than half of the market for medical devices comprises the market for implantable medical devices.

The medical device market in India is relatively small and in 2018 was estimated to be of the order of $5.2 billion (Ref: Invest India, GOI website). This figure is considerably small given the size and population of India, however, the growth rate over the coming years is expected to be more than double the global growth rate. India is the fourth largest market for medical devices in Asia and the expected growth rate has the potential be close of 30% per annum. The size of the market at the moment is partly due to the low per capita spend by the government on health care; another significant obstacle cited in the growth of the market is the lack of indigenous manufacturing.

Plastics constitute an important part of medical devices and the global market for plastics in medical devices is said to be close to $18 billion (Ref: Medical Plastics News, Feb. 2018). This figure includes plastics usage in everything from devices to diagnostics to packaging. With growth foreseen in the devices market, the growth in plastics usage in the devices should at least match that growth. Within the medical devices sector, about half of the market for plastics is in the area of implantable devices.

The role of the nature and properties of plastics in the correct functioning of a device is critical. Very often the selection of the plastic can dictate the efficacy of the device and the treatment of the disease. Unfortunately, during the design process of medical devices, the role of plastics is quite often either ignored or not well understood. There is, therefore, a strong need for the amalgamation of plastics professionals, polymer scientists and medical device design experts in order to exploit the full potential of plastics and facilitate effective treatment of medical conditions.

Medical Devices and Plastics

Plastics have an inherent advantage over traditionally used materials, such as glass and metals, in medical devices. Plastics are lightweight, inexpensive and often compatible with bodily fluids. Most plastics are also comparable in density to the body and thus are easier to be incorporated into the body. They, for the most part, also have a high degree of resistance to chemicals, both natural and synthetic, that make them suitable to be used in medical applications.

Plastics can also be formulated with a myriad of different chemistries. They can be soft or hard, elastomeric or rigid, thermoplastic or thermoset etc.

They can also be formulated as biologically stable or degradable. A stable formulation is one that can resist the action of body fluids and can be inert, making them suitable for the construction of long term implants. A degradable formulation, on the other hand, can be broken down into easily digestible and harmless elements over time. The degradation can be programmed to occur either at a specific time or upon a specific action. This makes biodegradable plastics attractive options in areas such as drug-device combinations and regenerative medicine.

The use of plastics in medical applications spans a wide spectrum of applications. Many plastics form a part of medical disposables such as wipes, bandages, syringes, tubes, blood bags, packaging materials etc. As the name suggests, these are discarded after a single use in a medical procedure. They do come in short-term contact with medicines and/or the human body.

The use of plastics has revolutionized the area of medical diagnostics. Whether it be in simple blood pressure measurement devices or the much more complex Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, plastic materials offer many advantages in the construction of this equipment such as design flexibility, light weight, robustness etc., this has enabled the doctors to diagnose the patient’s condition accurately and monitor the progress of any condition. Often these diagnostic equipment work outside the body and remain external.

Advertisers' Index

Accuprec Research Labs Pvt. Ltd., India
Ambica Medicare Engineering, India
Nu-Vu Conair Pvt. Ltd., India
Divya Steri Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India
ET Elastomer Technik, Germany
Eewa Engineering Co. Pvt. Ltd., India
Ineos Styrolution India Ltd., India
I-Kare Polyalloys Pvt. Ltd., India
KLJ Group, India
Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Pvt. Ltd.
Kuraray India Pvt. Ltd., India
Maider Medical Industry Equipment Ltd.China
Medicall 2019, India
Ferromatik Milacron India Pvt. Ltd., India
GLR Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., India
Pashiba Lifescience, India
Plastivision India
Pradeep Surgipack, India
PVC Colouring Compounding & Processing, India
Qosina, USA
Raumedic AG
SMC Medical Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd., India
Sterimed Medical Devices (P) Ltd., India
Steri Techno Fab, India
Tekni-Plex India Pvt. Ltd., India
Twist Engineering Works,India
Yuhuan Shengjiu Mould Co., Ltd., China

Airways Surgical Pvt. Ltd., India

Alpha Medicare and Devices Ltd., India
Alpha Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd., India
Ami Polymer Pvt. Ltd., India
Angiplast Pvt. Ltd., India
Appasamy Associates, India
Beacon Plastics, India
Delux Surgical, Inida
Ignisol Mediplas Corporation, India
Jain Rubbers Pvt. Ltd., India
Operon Strategist, India
R.R. Patel Gases (P) Ltd., India

Proven Trade Contacts, India

Sanidhya Enterprise, India
Surgi Pack India Pvt. Ltd.
Unikal Consultants, India
Vinit Performance Polymers Pvt. Ltd., India
Aircity, India
Amigo Surgi Care Pvt. Ltd., India
Angel Products, India
Apex Medical Devices, India
Jimit Medico Surgicals Pvt. Ltd.
Kavya Packaging, India
Life-O-Line Technologist, India
Mesco Surgical, India
Morrisons Lifecare Pvt. Ltd., India
National Healthcare, India
Pharmadocx, Inida
S. Nath & Co., India
Unikal Consultants, India
Venus Industries,India, Mobile : 9825747495
Zinkal Products, India
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