Development of a biocompatible additive that will enhance the lubricity of medical devices and has the potential to serve as a lower-cost alternative to PTFE, has been announced by Raumedic. The material can be added to thermoplastic elastomers, polyamides, polystyrenes and polyolefins. Other potential application areas include regional anesthesia, drug delivery including syringe systems, and minimally invasive surgery. Radiopaque settings and customized color are also possible with the material.
The Helmbrechts has tested the new additive for in combination with a base polymer for over six months, finding that it significantly lowers the coefficient of friction. Comparison studies of extrudates with and without a sliding additive found that the additive didn’t have a significant effect on mechanical and chemical characteristics of the base material, including dimension stability, flow rate and tensile strength.
“We see tremendous improvement potential for our catheter products because they are easier to introduce into the body thanks to their reduced gliding force,” said Katharina Neumann, the head of materials chemistry at Raumedic. “Existing guidewires can be removed more easily as well.” “The additive can be used for all applications in which plastic has to glide well on plastic,” Neumann said in a news release.