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Advanced Antimicrobial Plastics for Medical Applications

SpecialChem / Donald Rosato & Don Rosato – Oct 22, 2012

To meet the needs of an aging population and new trends in health care, the medical device industry has undergone a number of changes in the types of devices produced and the materials selected.

For these devices, plastics are increasingly the material of choice. For this year and next, the medical industry projects double digit growth of 10-11% in the Americas, followed by 15% for Asia, and a strong 6 to 8%market expansion in Europe.

Self-assembling monolayer end groups (SAMEs) are an emerging two-dimensional nanotechnology used to control the surface properties of medical devices molded from plastic materials rendering them antimicrobial. Anti-Crobe antimicrobial acetal polymers are targeted at medical devices exposed to environments where heat, moisture and nutrients can promote bacterial and fungal growth. Silver-based inorganic antimicrobials are used in polycarbonate engineering thermoplastics to control the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria on the surface of medical devices. New bioresorbable materials which give structure to implantable devices are absorbed by the body when no longer needed eliminating the need for a second surgery to retrieve the device.

Implants can also now deliver drugs at a predetermined rate, thanks to advances in combination products. PEEK-Optima polymer (porous and fiber) is showing promising results in enhancing tissue interaction and integration. Biosafe HM-4100 is a nontoxic, environmentally sustainable antimicrobial suitable for a wide range of thermoplastics. StatSil provides antimicrobial protection in silicone elastomers. The nano and micro silver BG range additives with nanosilver technology...

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