One of the hottest trends in medical molding is use of bioabsorbable polymers in implants. These materials decompose into carbon dioxide and water via hydrolysis, and present no threat to the human body.They provide support until bone, muscle or tissue heals and, eventually, no longer needs an implant's support. Close to 1,600 U.S. patents filed since 1976 include some description of bioabsorbable polymers.
Medical-grade bioabsorbable parts available from a variety of sources include screws, tacks, pins and anchors. Tests show that radiolabelled implants of poly-DL-lactide decomposed in animals after 18 months to five years. Molding these materials, presents a serious challenge, however.Look for processors that have Scientific Injection Molding Principles, Class 100,000 or better clean room manufacturing space, and significant design know-how. “We use dedicated screws and barrels to guard against cross contamination and then shroud the resin in nitrogen fog as it enters the barrel to ensure there is no oxygen present,” comments Dave Thoreson, Medical Molding and Assembly Plant Manager at Phillips Plastics, Menomonie, WI. Bioabsorbable resins typically cost $1600 to $2200/lb and are shipped in vacuum-sealed cans or sealed polybags. Some new generations of implants include bioactive substances such as antibiotics. Bioabsorbables are also being actively investigated for use in drug-eluting stent systems—the biggest medical device market in the world today. Bioabsorbable materials could be used in the polymer coating that releases the drug as well as for the stent structure itself. Stent prototypes have been molded from a blend of polylactide and trimethylene carbonate.
Why would the biggest connector company in the world design and build the first fully functional 3D-printed motorcycle? To show TE Connectivity's engineers what the technology can really do in making working load-bearing production parts, and free up their thinking when approaching design problems.
The enhanced ST8 includes new functionality designed to help users accelerate design speed and improve the user’s ability to leverage synchronous technology. The update offers greater flexibility in choice of platform and purchasing options, according to the company.
“How can European standards affect me, especially since I only use machines built in the US?” This is a common question, and one way to answer this is to look at how machine safety is enforced, where the information comes from, and how well you can prove you followed the regulations.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.