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MD&M 2019: Medical Materials

Feb. 6, 2019
Materials take on new challenges in the medical industry as companies exhibiting at this year’s MD&M educate us on what is needed.

Entering the Anaheim Convention Center in California for the MD&M show, it’s always exciting to see what companies are presenting. Global health care spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 4.1% in 2017 to 2021, an increase of 1.3% from 2012 to 2016. According to a 2019 report from Deloitte, global health care expenditures are expected to continue to rise as spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4% between 2017 to 2022. This growth means the market could grow from $7.724 trillion to $10.059 trillion.

In a recent report from Global Market Insights, the medical gas equipment market alone is projected to grow at 7.6% CAGR between 2018 to 2024, exceeding a revenue of $7.2 billion by 2024.

Deloitte attributes this growth in the market to an aging and increasing population, developing market expansion, advances in medical treatments, and rising labor costs. Previous medical shows have showcased smart medical solutions that range from new materials to advanced connected devices and software. The following is only a small taste just some of the medical material companies that will be at MD&M—not to mention, there are four other shows featuring material companies happening in the same building.

MD&M West 2019

Already on day one there is a trend to move digital. This isn’t a huge shock, as manufacturing in multiple industries is taking advantage of this in line with other developments in manufacturing. Medical professionals having the ability to access all patient’s information in one location while still abiding by HIPA and other regulations is imperative. Tracking parts, devices, and doses can be a difficult and labor-intensive process. Companies offering a full digital thread to track everything from the resource provider, to manufacturer, to hospital, to patient will increase the speed and quality of today’s healthcare.

Eastman Chemical Co., Booth 2301—Maintain Strength After Multiple Cleanings

Last year Eastman was talking about its Tritan copolyesters. This growing family of medical grade plastics is aimed at medical devices and housings. An Eastman representative said many devices are designed to be mobile that give way to it being dropped. While designed for this inevitability, disinfecting agents can breakdown polymer chains causing the housing to break prematurely, especially if dropped.

A. Hopf GmbH uses Eastman Tritan copolyester for its three-way stopcocks and Y-connectors. BPA-free Tritan helps maintain device safety.

The relatively new polymer will probably also be on display this year, as it is able to work in a wide range of industry needs that have previously been unmet. The clear formulations of Tritan are known not only for maintaining functional integrity after repeated sterilization, resistance to lipids, and disinfecting agents, but also for greater toughness, heat resistance, processability, and design freedom compared with other copolyesters.

Avantor, Booth 2305—Biocompatibility

Avantor announced on Jan. 14th that it will highlight its NuSil brand biocompatible silicone adhesive at the show. The silicone solutions help medical device manufacturers increase throughput and improve device performance. The company will have technology experts available to share the latest developments and help device manufacturers select the right silicone adhesives for their specific applications.

NuSil adhesives include one- and two-part room temperature (RTV) and high-temperature vulcanizing (HTV) formulations. A wide range of NuSil primers is also available to increase adhesion to various substrates. In addition to silicone adhesives, Avantor will highlight several other NuSil biomaterial solutions, including lubricious silicones and its latest in situ cure technology.

DowDuPont, Booths 3001 and 3005—Access to Experts and Multiple Materials

DowDuPont Specialty Products Division will showcase its recently combined portfolio of innovative healthcare product technologies and solutions. It will also debut soft skin adhesive and an encore presentation of Tyvek 40L medical packaging material for protecting lightweight, lower-risk Class I and II devices.

Booth visitors can learn about DowDuPont’s other materials often associated with diabetes pump connectors, insulin pens, and surgical retractors.

Dow Corning will be featuring brand medical -rade silicones which include silicone elastomers, solutions for siliconization. In addition, teams will share industry leadership and expertise during presentations:

Roger Hendrick, technical service and development scientist, DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, will give a presentation titled, “Healthcare Liquid Silicone Rubber for Low Temperature Overmolding Applications” on Tues., Feb. 5, from 10:15-11 a.m. PST. Hendrick will discuss the characteristics of low-temperature-cure liquid silicone rubber, improvements in cure rheology and the material’s potential applications, among other important attributes.  

Nick Packet, medical device manufacturer specialist, and Kevin Grum, global technical service consultant, DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, will present “Understanding How Packaging Impacts Life Cycle Costs & the Journey of Your Medical Device” on Wed., Feb. 6, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. PST. They will discuss how packaging can add value to a product's life cycle—particularly the pack-out, sterilization, and distribution steps. Commercial leaders and technical experts will be available to answer questions and provide specific information on a broad range of healthcare technology applications and solutions.

Polygon, Booth 866—Multiple Geometries and Durometers

The company will feature its PolyMed Composite Tubing, used in placement on electro-surgical devices (both monopolar and bipolar), surgical ablation tools, suction irrigation or trocar cannula, endoscopic/laparoscopic instruments, and robotic surgery technologies. The ability of composite materials to be tailored to demanding medical applications makes them a versatile solution.

Composites are able to generate thin-walled material in multi-lumen shapes as one piece.

Composite medical tubing is lightweight, strong, and can be invisible to X-rays, in addition to being thermally insulating and non-conductive. Polygon dedicates composite experts to work closely with customer engineers to develop custom solutions. “Composites are an excellent replacement for stainless steel tubing and other metals in medical applications,” said Ted Wallace, the company’s director of sales and marketing “PolyMed’s features and benefits out-do metal on multiple important factors, including patient protection.”

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