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Bioplastics in medical technology – is this reasonable and safe?

BIO? Great! But what about complex applications, such as healthcare? This article challenges whether the use of bioplastics in medical technology is reasonable and safe.

The basics

Biokunststoffe in der Medizintechnik

Plastics are established in medical technology. This is mainly due to the advantages of the material. Plastics have a low density and are therefore inexpensive for transport and storage. In addition, the established industrial manufacturing processes provide a great flexibility in form and application – both for disposable articles such as syringes and catheters as well as for e.g. endoscopes that are reprocessed several times. And thirdly, and this is very important today: prevention of infection. Contaminated products can be separated after their use in hospitals and then rendered harmless. 

One could say that plastics made modern health care possible.

Deep Dive

Today there are almost 8 billion people in the world, who are also getting older. In order to ensure health care , we need a large amount of resources. Most of the plastics used in medical technology are extracted from fossil resources. This is oviously not the best choice since on the one hand these resources are finite and on the other hand the whole process releases a large amount of CO2 . As a way out, there are biobased plastics that are made from renewable raw materials such as corn or sugar cane.

Switching to bioplastics in medical technology saves resources and reduces CO2 emissions.

 27 million tonnes of CO2
caused by plastics in the medical sector in the EU per year? We need change!

Gute Frage

Can bioplastics achieve the same performance as conventional plastics?

Yes, a change from conventional plastics to bioplastics is possible in medical technology whilst achieving the same performance: biocompatibility, adjustability of mechanical properties and sterilisability. Bioplastics can even bring decisive benefits.

By the way – plastics used in medical technology are called „Medical Grade Plastics“. For this, proof must be provided that the plastics have defined properties and that safe, approved raw materials are processed in a safe working environment. Similarly, the Medical Devices Regulation explicitly requires special attention to be paid to the selection of materials. This includes the biological assessment of materials, the risk management of procurement and production, and the guarantee of recipe consistency.

Medical Grade Biokunststoffe in weiß und transparent

The advantages of bioplastics in medical technology at a glance:

>> Plastic is an already established material

>> It offers form & application flexibility

>> The material is suitable for germ prevention measures

>> Bioplastics conserve fossil resources

>> Bioplastics have lower CO2 emissions (up to 70%)

Maria Heckel

Maria Heckel,
Regulation & Quality

“At BIOVOX, we take care of risk control from procurement through production and storage to the delivery of Medical Grade Bioplastics. We pay attention to the toxicological harmlessness during the development process by taking into account the intended purpose and risk class of the future medical device in the selection of materials. This ensures compatibility with other materials, tissues and body fluids. And not only that – the required cleanliness or even sterility are also covered.

Are you still unsure whether bioplastics are safe enough for your application? Please write to me about your requirements and concerns..“

In a Nutshell

Megaphon

Plastic as a material is indispensable in medical technology. To ensure the health of mankind in the future, we depend on the benefits of plastics. At the same time, we are facing a scarcity of resources and a climate crisis. Switching to biobased plastics saves resources and reduces the carbon footprint by up to 70%. And all of that with a constant performance and in compliance with strict safety regulations.

In a nutshell: Bioplastics in medical technology are reasonable as a material, useful for the future and safe for our health care.

Did you know?

 BIOVOX Connect is our network for sustainable medical devices. Interested? Then >> take a look!

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