How Specialty Polymers Have Revolutionized Implantable Device Manufacturing
The healthcare industry continues to innovate and create more effective biomaterials to meet the needs of medical professionals and device manufacturers. The development of specialty polymers has advanced the capabilities and improved the processing of implantable medical devices by enabling OEMs to tailor the properties of device components with more efficient and affordable methods.
Solviva®, Solvay’s family of polymer biomaterials, supplies the medical industry with specialty polymers that offer OEMs the ability to cost-effectively produce implantable devices with superior moldability and minimal invasiveness. Zeniva® PEEK (polyetheretherketone), Eviva® PSU (polysulfone) and Veriva® PPSU (polyphenylsulfone) are all included in Solvay’s dynamic portfolio of specialty polymers and provide OEMs with unparalleled material advancements that improve both the production and performance of an array of implantable medical devices.
All of Solvay’s specialty plastics for implantable polymer medical devices are available in grades for injection molding, which enables OEMs to customize implant device components with sophisticated designs that were previously impossible with metal parts. Zeniva® CF30 PEEK is specifically formulated for injection molding for use in structural PEEK implants, such as interbody fusion devices or anterior and posterior spinal fusion cages and spacers. Despite its flexibility, this medical-grade PEEK polymer remains twice as strong as unmodified PEEK material, which makes it an outstanding alternative material for load-bearing implantable devices used in spine, hip and knee replacements. Additionally, Eviva® PSU provides OEMs with an exceptional moldability that enables the manufacturing of low-risk access ports materials used in cardiovascular and neurovascular applications.
The unparalleled strength and moldability of Solvay specialty polymers allow designers and manufacturers to reduce the size and intrusiveness of implantable devices while simultaneously improving functionality. Unlike implantable metals, PEEK implant material such as Zeniva® CF30 PEEK offers modulus almost identical to cortical bone and maintains normal stress on surrounding bone tissue to minimize bone density reduction and provide a reliable, long-term solution. The lightweight, transparent and radiolucent properties of Zeniva® PEEK, Eviva® PSU and Veriva® PPSU enable OEMs to produce minimally invasive devices with enhanced performance while maintaining optimal visibility through a variety of medical imaging methods.
OEMs continuously seek more efficient and cost-effective production alternatives to meet the demands of today’s healthcare industry. The Solviva® family of biomaterials provides OEMs with injection molded plastics that eliminate the need for a complex, multi-step assembly and help to reduce processing costs. Zeniva® CF30 PEEK, offers economically favorable, high-volume production of injection molded polymers. Additionally, vascular and injection access ports made with Eviva® PSU now require no expensive machining, which facilitates significant cost savings in the manufacturing of implants used in drug-delivery applications.