Polymer technology has never played a more vital role in the medical products sector than it is doing today. And nowhere is such technology on display than at CHINAPLAS, which provides a showcase of advanced materials and processing technologies, including those used in today’s cutting-edge medical products.
The global medical products industry has never been more dependent on plastics and rubber suppliers to help them meet today’s healthcare needs. The medical applications incorporating polymers are diverse and numerous, including: drug-delivery systems; sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment; surgical tools; prostheses and life-maintaining implantable devices; pharmaceutical packaging; various disposables such as tubes, infusion bags, catheters, syringes, etc.; and, increasingly, interactive healthcare monitoring devices used by professional caregivers and individual patients alike. Estimated by the US trade association Advamed, the medical device industry is currently at US$120 billion globally.
Biocompatibility as a driving force
Materials that are implanted into the body or that are used in applications where they come into direct contact with human tissue are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure they do not cause any adverse reactions. Polymers such as liquid silicone rubber, thermoplastic elastomers and various biopolymers are proving themselves to be up to the task.
Firms such as Germany’s Gerresheimer Group are turning to cyclic olefin polymers (COPs) to replace glass in a number of its vials and syringes. This is due in part to the rise in popularity of bio-based pharmaceuticals. COP, which is more chemically inert than glass, is a desirable primary package that offers excellent barrier properties and is less likely to break.
Meanwhile, in hip-replacement procedures, carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK (polyetheretherketone) – a high-strength, wear-resistant, biocompatible polymer composite – is being used to form a high-tech hip socket, mostly replacing metal.
Additive manufacturing adds a new dimension
The process known as additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, also is revolutionizing the medical sector. Using a variety of materials – including a growing number of plastic resins – doctors now can do things never before possible. Using 3D printing, they now can replicate damaged sections of the human skull, or other body parts such as hip and knee, dental crowns, and manufacture biocompatible and perfectly customized pieces that can be used to reconstruct the damaged area. 3D printed anatomical models have been helping surgeons practicing and achieving better surgical results.
3D printed drugs are becoming popular to produce personalized medication for more targeted therapy. Additive manufacturing market in medical application is expanding rapidly. Currently US$83.7 million worth of material is being consumed annually in medical sector alone; while the selling of printing machine will be doubled from US$24-million in 2014 to US$56-million by 2020.
These technologies just scratch the surface when it comes to the variety and breadth of materials and equipment that are reshaping today’s dynamic medical sector. The good news is that you see these technologies, and many more at CHINAPLAS 2016.
Shanghai New International Expo Center (Pudong), PR China. The show will gather over 3200 exhibitors, many of which will be providing solutions related to medical industry, including highly automated systems for precision tube extrusion, injection molding, micro-molding; automated vacuum-forming blister packaging machine, precision filling & sealing systems, hot-runner systems, clean-room solutions, robotics and automation systems, along with biopolymers, general-use and high-performance composites, medical grade masterbatch and antimicrobial additives, etc.
Additionally, the 2nd Medical Plastics Conferencewill be held concurrently with the show on 25-26 April, where international experts will talk about the hottest topics in the industry covering 3D printing, advanced medical grade polymers, pharmaceutical packaging, and latest technology breakthroughs, etc. The conference provides a focused yet professional networking platform for material suppliers, processing suppliers, and medical products suppliers to exchange insights and ideas with one another. The conference is free for admission.
The show is expected to welcome over 140,000 visitors from 150 countries/ regions. In the past, we have attracted many renowned companies from around the world such as Baxter, Dräger, Edan, Improve Medical, Kindly, Medical Devices Management Academy, Microport, Mindray, Philips Respironics, Renolit, Sanner, Siemens, SonoScape, Tuoren, China Plastics Processing Industry Association, Guangdong Medical Devices Management Academy, Guangdong Pharmaceutical Industry Association to join us.
Many leading firms have already reserved their booths such as A.Schulman, Arburg, BASF, Chen Hsong, Covestro, Davis-Standard, Dow Corning, DuPont, Engel, ExxonMobil, Haitian, Hasco, Husky, Kraiburg TPE, KraussMaffei, Mehow, Milacron, Mold-Masters, Nordson, Solvay, Yizumi, Yudo, etc.
There are two types of entry tickets – a one-day pass (RMB 30) and four-day pass (RMB 50). Visitors who successfully pre-register on or before 12 February, 2016, at www.ChinaplasOnline.com/prereg will enjoy free admission and receive a visitor badge in advance.