Instratek Chooses Medical-Grade Ixef® PARA for Innovative Single-Use STAPiX™ Surgical Staple Fixation System

Solvay’s Ixef® 1022 PARA resin outperforms competitive polymers to meet the high flexural strength and good moldability Instratek needed for its innovative new device

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ALPHARETTA, Ga., September 15, 2015– Solvay Specialty Polymers, a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics, announced today that Instratek, a Houston-based developer of medical devices for extremity surgery, selected Solvay’s Ixef® 1022 polyarylamide (PARA) resin to mold several components of its STAPiX™ staple fixation system used for surgical procedures on the forefoot, mid-foot, hind-foot and hand. Instratek, which just launched the STAPiX™ system in the United States, chose Ixef® PARA resin for its high strength and stiffness, excellent moldability and attractive price point for single-use medical devices.

“Our engineers initially explored several materials for this application, including ABS and PEI, but none could match Ixef PARA’s unique combination of mechanical properties, particularly its superior flexural stiffness,” said Lance Terrill, director of engineering at Instratek. “Solvay’s hands-on technical support and expertise in medical-grade polymers were other factors that influenced our decision. The initial success of our advanced STAPiX system makes it quite clear that we made the right choice.”

Ixef® 1022 PARA, a 50 percent glass-filled compounded resin, is used for the staple inserter handles, which are subject to high bending stress when the device opens a superelastic nitinol staple prior to its insertion into the bone. Of the polymers tested, Ixef® 1022 PARA best minimized flexing in the tool’s handles while bending the nitinol staple.

“Solvay’s proactive approach to designing world-class materials for single-use healthcare devices enabled Instratek to develop a leading-edge staple fixation system that raises the bar in stapler performance and reliability,” said Dane Waund, global healthcare market manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers. “The STAPiX staple fixation system underscores Solvay’s deep understanding of emerging healthcare trends and our collaborative approach to delivering the materials solutions customers need to achieve their design goals, differentiate their products and grow their business."

As with all of Solvay’s medical-grade polymers, Ixef® 1022 PARA demonstrates no evidence of cytotoxicity, sensitization, intracutaneous reactivity or acute systemic toxicity, based on biocompatibility testing as defined by ISO 10993:1. Medical-grade Ixef® PARA resins are available worldwide in a broad range of gamma-stabilized colors, making them well-suited for single-use medical device applications that must maintain excellent aesthetics despite repeat sterilization by gamma radiation or other methods, such as application of ethylene oxide.

Solvay Specialty Polymers has been a reliable materials supplier to the healthcare industry for more than 25 years. The company is a leading manufacturer of healthcare polymers, offering the industry’s broadest range of high-performance polymers for medical devices, instruments, and equipment. Solvay also offers a family of Solviva® Biomaterials for use in a range of implantable devices.

™ STAPiX is a trademark of Instratek

About Instratek

Headquartered in Houston, Instratek has been synonymous with minimally invasive surgical technologies for over 20 years. It is a global medical device company that specializes in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of leading-edge orthopaedic implants and endoscopic instrumentation for the field of extremity surgery. The company’s success is driven by providing innovative medical technologies that drastically improve patients’ lives while offering cost effective solutions for the extremity surgeon and healthcare facilities. For more information, visit http://www.instratek.com.
As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aeronautics or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 26,000 people in 52 countries and generated 10.2 billion euros in net sales in 2014. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on EURONEXT Brussels and EURONEXT Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).