Actega (Bremen, Germany) has announced the introduction of a medical-grade thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) that is entirely free of animal-derived components (ADCs). The ADC-free formula for the ProvaMed TPE family of materials is described by the company as a practical solution for customers in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors that must account for the origin of additives and other material components. The material also satisfies kosher and vegan-free requirements.
Additives used in the manufacture of plastics may include stearic acid salts, for example, which are extracted from beef tallow to impart lubricity in polyethylene during extrusion or injection molding or to clean and neutralize acids formed during the polymerization process, says Actega. To effectively remove infectious agents or to render them harmless, ADCs are heated to 200°C or more for a minimum of 20 minutes. To avoid unnecessary risks, it would be simpler to use an ADC-free material formula to start with, according to the company.
ADC-free ProvaMed is suitable for extruding tubing and a range of other applications in which strength, flexibility, transparency, and media resistance are desirable. The TPEs are formulated to prevent interactions between the tubing material and pharmaceutical or endogenous substances. The material's transparency permits optical flow control, and radiopaque strips can be integrated in the tubing system to track its position within the body. Furthermore, the material won't buckle and it is coated with an antimicrobial agent.
The ADC-free TPE will be presented at the Fakuma trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from Oct. 14 to 18, 2014.