Last year, Lati S.p.A. R&D set up a novel formulation based on LATIGEA that matches biodegradability and food contact compliance in the EU according to Directive 2002/72/EC and amendments in medical applications.

In fact, LATI has created a material for the production of disposable delivery devices with a basis for a biocompatibility test that can be disposed as compostable at the end of its life. In addition, this formulation may be further modified combining antibacterial properties, i.e. guarantees the absence of germs on their surface, though more investigation is needed.

During the last decade the medical device industry has shown a fast growth in the global market, especially in products such as delivery devices and diagnostics.

Generally speaking, the medical market is a rewarding but also challenging market – where people’s health and safety is concerned, top level products and outstanding performances are a must. In fact, medical technology manufacturers have to cope with very strict national regulations and consequently face the resulting high development costs.

Directive 2007/47/EC, also known as the medical device directive (MDD), divides medical devices into four classes of risk, according to the type and duration of the contact that they can potentially have with the human body. Moreover, the environmental impact of disposable medical devices can not be neglected.

Although the large part of plastics in medical applications is for disposable tools, thermoplastic materials play a vital role in the development of state of the art medical technology with tailor-made formulations that can almost meet any market request, allowing a significant reduction in production costs and in full compliance with the applicable regulatory standards.

LATI Industria Termoplastici S.p.A. can offer a wide range of thermoplastic compounds that have high mechanical and thermal properties, chemical resistance, show good dimensional stability, and allow weight reduction withstanding most cleansing and sterilisation methods supporting customers in biocompatibility tests.

The product mix complements the widely used PP, ABS, SAN, PA with high performance thermoplastics such as PPS, PSU, PPSU and PEEK.

We are also able to offer valuable support to customers in the technical phase of planning with structural, thermal and fluid-dynamic analyses (FEA), with the purpose of replacing metal parts of existing equipment for example, or evaluating the feasibility of innovative plastic applications.
In particular, with LATI’s consolidated experience in the production of flame retardant materials, its experts are willing to co-operate with manufacturing companies of electrical/electronics equipments to create products with added value, as well as from a safety point of view in critical environments.

Surgical tools, made of carbon or glass fiber reinforced compounds, not-invasive orthopaedic prosthesis, diagnostic medical devices and advanced laboratory system components used in analysis and research, constitute a large part of the whole production of the firms that operate in this field; nevertheless a continous improvement approach is required for these applications.

Another significant example we would like to highlight is our complete range of electrically conductive injection mouldable thermoplastics, meant to solve electrostatic build up and related issues keeping the advantages of the base resin, ranging from PP to PEEK.

Important applications of this products are in: Business machines, the food processing industry, textile, transport and last but not least explosive atmospheres where ATEX Directive is applicable.

Always a step ahead in the search of lead-free and environmental friendly solutions, Lati has created LATIGRAY, a full range of radiopaque thermoplastic compounds dedicated to lead and heavy metal substitutions in X-ray shielding applications, both in medicine and in industrial radiology.
Another important category of compounds used in this sector is formed by those additivated with substances with antibacterial action and that are mainly based on three action mechanisms:

  • Metals like silver as active principle
  • Some organic substances (with limited temperature resistance such as Triclosan)
  • The silanes

These active substances slow down product deterioration brought about by microorganisms and infection propagation, for example the nosocomial ones (Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)), a very critical and widespread hospital problem.