New development features of the medical polymer material market
Medical polymer material is an important part of biomedical materials, mainly used in artificial organs, surgical repair, physical therapy, disease diagnosis and detection, etc. This article introduces the current market outlook and new development features, such as degradable products, highly integrated products, products with surface finishing, products carrying chip, etc.
As an interdisciplinary science, medical polymer integrates knowledge of a full range of sectors from polymer chemistry, polymer physics, biochemistry, synthetic material technology, pathology, pharmacology to anatomy and clinical medicine. Also, it involves many engineering issues such the design and manufacture for various types of medical apparatuses. The interactions of these sectors help make polymer materials diversified and improve their performances and functions. Currently, over 90 varieties and 1,800 products of polymer materials are used in medical applications around the world while 60 varieties and 400 products of polymer materials are used in medical applications in China.
Of the artificial organs prepared using polymer materials, successful examples include artificial blood vessel, artificial esophagus, artificial urethra, artificial heart valve prosthesis, artificial joints, artificial bones and plastic surgical materials. Many artificial organs were proved successful but improvement has to be made for artificial kidney, artificial heart, artificial lung, artificial pancreas, artificial eyeball and artificial blood. For some other organs with complicated functions such as artificial liver, artificial stomach and artificial uterus, intensified efforts are being made in research and development.
From the application point of view, artificial organs are evolving from partial substitution to full substitution of original functions, from short-term application to long-term application, from large size to small size and from external use to in vivo implantation, and artificial organ products are involving more life-critical parts such as artificial sensory organs and artificial limbs.