With the world’s burgeoning population growth – eight billion people will live on the planet by 2030 – advances in healthcare are vital. In supplying innovation in the world of health by furthering developments and discoveries in medical technology, Bayer MaterialScience is extending its range of innovative materials that enhance design, manufacturing and end-use performance for a variety of medical devices.
Through the supply of polyurethane materials and thermoplastic materials and films to manufacturers of medical products, the company is making an important contribution to developments and discoveries in medical technology. These applications range from highly functional coatings and special-purpose adhesives and plasters for wound dressings to thermoplastics for surgical and diagnostic instruments.
With two new developments, Bayer MaterialScience is extending its medical technology portfolio, now marketed under the name Baymedix™. The first is a new lubricious coating for use on catheters and other medical products. With exceptional surface slip characteristics as well as high resistance and biocompatibility, the coating can be used wherever the physician needs to reduce the amount of friction between components of a medical product.
For example, it can be used between the guide wire and the catheter or between the product and a patient’s tissue. It is also particularly suitable for use on the thermoplastic materials that are normally used to manufacture catheters.
A second development from Bayer MaterialScience is a coating, also based on polyurethane, which can release a drug over a pre-determined time. For a range of active ingredients – low molecular weight drugs and biopharmaceuticals – this time can be varied from a few hours to several months. The release of the drug is guided by a specific ratio of hydrophilic to hydrophobic components in the coating.
Bayer MaterialScience is also developing Baymedix™ FG foams for wound dressings and the Baymedix™ AT topical tissue adhesives. These products represent an alternative to stitching materials for closing wounds.
In addition, the new Baymedix™ name will be applied to materials designed to meet specialized medical needs. This customized approach is an important component of Bayer MaterialScience’s growth strategy for the medical market and will be complemented by a new development and application center and the establishment of focused production lines.
Hydrophilic membrane films made of thermoplastic polyurethane are suitable for new kinds of breathable wound plasters. They are impermeable to water and wound fluids, and also to dirt and microbes. However, thanks to tiny pores, water vapor can pass through so the wound is not hermetically sealed and can breathe. The plaster is soft and flexible, and so kind to the skin. Transdermal systems are also possible with this technology, which specifically releases active ingredients over a given time.
For some time, Bayer MaterialScience has been a leading partner to the international medical technology segment for the use of polycarbonates. The company can, if desired, support manufacturers of medical instruments and the associated plastics converters with an extensive service portfolio, that begins with the initial idea and design of the plastic component and continues through to mold construction and production launch.
In polycarbonates, the company’s most recent development is the PC/ABS blend Bayblend® M850XF. This is used in, for example, components for surgical instruments, diagnostic equipment, drug-administering systems and intravenous systems, and is especially suitable for the injection molding of thin-walled components.