Clariant launches medical polymer compounds resistant hydrolytic degradation
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Clariant launches medical polymer compounds resistant to hydrolytic degradation

10:39 AM, 11th February 2020
Clariant launches medical polymer compounds resistant to hydrolytic degradation

MUTTENZ, SWITZERLAND: Clariant Plastics & Coatings Healthcare Polymer Solutions working with a leading medical device manufacturer, has completed development and testing of new polymer materials specially formulated to resist degradation caused by exposure to high humidity and temperature.

The new technology is especially important in resins that incorporate high loadings of radiopaque metals because these fillers are known to exacerbate the degradation effect.

The new compounds marketed under the MEVOPUR brand name covering Clariant’s ‘medical grade’ materials, are expected to be especially useful in applications like medical catheters.

Catheters are typically made of relatively soft, flexible materials like polyether block amides (PEBA) or certain thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). These materials commonly contain metallic fillers like tungsten or tungsten carbide so that doctors and technicians can see the exact position of the catheter under X-ray fluoroscopy.

The Clariant solution is a combination of proprietary processing techniques and additives that, together, help to make the polymer resistant to hydrolytic degradation. Accelerated aging tests conducted on both extruded tubing and injection-molded test samples show significant improvement in resistance compared to unmodified materials.

 “The problem is, when these devices are exposed to heat and humidity over time, the polymer chains responsible for developing critical physical and mechanical properties become broken and the functionality of the device – and patient safety – may be seriously compromised.” According to Duckworth, these hydrolysis effects can occur even with very small quantities of moisture trapped on the surface of the polymer, filler ingredients, or on the pellets of the compound,” explained Steve Duckworth, Global Head of Marketing & Business Development.

“The final quality and reliability of catheter components relies on the stability and predictability of polymer material properties over a wide range of conditions,” Duckworth added. “Our testing on the new MEVOPUR radiopaque compounds shows the risk of polymer degradation from hydrolysis can be significantly reduced so predictability can be restored. This also demonstrates the importance of long-term collaboration between the device manufacturer and a materials supplier like Clariant.

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