An aging population and the growing threat of emerging infectious viral diseases, such as COVID-19, mean that global healthcare is an extremely important problem and is changing dramatically and dynamically. To respond to these changes, a new generation of specialized and sustainable medical equipment solutions is emerging. Read on to learn more about the evolution of this industry and to explore an example of medical device innovation.
If you haven’t seen a doctor in person since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. Telemedicine and on-demand care have exploded over the past 12 months and are two of many growing trends in global healthcare. Another trend in the era of increasing personalized medicine is the development of biologic pharmaceuticals. A rapidly growing market, the revenues of biologic pharmaceutical companies have increased by 70% over the past five years, to more than US $ 232 billion.[i]. Yet the high doses required by patients for biologic therapies can present very real challenges for drug delivery.[ii]. Whatever the trend and in all directions in which healthcare develops, the goal is always to protect and improve the lives of patients.
Plastics in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging increasingly play a vital role in providing safe treatments and their use is expected to increase further. This can be attributed to the fact that they offer design freedom, protection, convenience and functionality that few other materials can match. Globally in 2020, approximately 7.6 million tonnes of plastics were used in healthcare applications[iii] and this is expected to grow by around 8.6% from 2020 to 2027. Companies supplying plastics to the healthcare market must have in-depth knowledge of the industry, as well as advanced technical and design capabilities, to develop innovative solutions that truly respond to their customers. challenges.
Let’s take a look at an example of an innovative solution – a conceptual auto-injector, where the new generation meets industry trends for the functionality and aesthetics of surfaces.
Auto-injectors are a great example of innovation, bringing more convenience and control to the lives of patients. Playing on trends in telemedicine, on-demand care and biologics, they offer self-management and drug administration, technology-driven monitoring and diagnostics, as well as the ability to deliver increased volumes of drugs. and large molecule biologics.
This study example describes a conceptual auto-injector developed by Avient – a new materials company born from two historical leaders, PolyOne and Clariant Masterbatch. It will illustrate how Avient has used innovative materials, design and technological services to accelerate the development of next generation products.
The injection window and cap of an autoinjector require excellent clarity, scratch resistance, and exceptional toughness for visualizing drug levels. In this study, an anti-UV additive was used to protect the drug contents from harmful UV rays without sacrificing clarity or transparency. Next, a dynamic masterbatch formulation (MEVOPUR ™ medical grade dyes) was used to enable product differentiation, better drug identification and consistent branding. MEVOPUR colors highlight the cap, button, lot ID / SKU, trigger and plunger. The raw materials were tested against common pharmaceutical standards to ensure that the devices would be safe and compliant from a regulatory point of view.
On the body of the autoinjector, a laser marking additive has been used to enable inkless marking, with no surface pretreatment required, thus avoiding solvent residue. The additive provided reliability and process improvement over traditional marking technologies and improved design possibilities due to the absence of physical contact with the marking system. This type of laser marking functionality can be combined with other functions or dyes to meet performance and aesthetic needs. In addition, to combat the increase in counterfeit drugs and devices in the healthcare industry, Avient has also developed a comprehensive plastic solution that protects against counterfeiting, while enabling medical device companies to ensure the integrity. supply chain with low impact on productivity and operations.
For the integrated rigid needle guard and device cap, biocompatibility, durability and overmolding are essential. A medical grade TPE (Versaflex ™ HC TPE) replaced rubber, with sealing properties to prevent needle contamination and oxygen contact with drugs in pre-filled syringes. These TPEs are USP VI tested and chemical resistant with low extractability and no tearing.
The viscosity of the drug has a direct impact on the pain of patients during drug administration. Therefore, the device’s heating system and heat exchanger used thermally conductive formulations to help heat and reduce the viscosity of biologic drugs.
Technology is transforming the way care is delivered by making it simpler, easier, more collaborative and more data-driven. This conceptual auto-injector is a demonstration of how next-generation materials and design expertise can truly improve a finished device.
If you would like more information on this application study, or on Avient materials and colorant / additive technologies, please visit avient-help.com.
Content sponsored by Avient Corporation