A clever concept illustrates the role of sophisticated design approaches in advancing the use of plastics in medical applications. The new design also shows the increasing importance of bovine-free additives in medical plastics.
The innovation comes from Value Plastics (Fort Collins, CO), which developed new single-use ports for transferring fluids and drug compounds in the biopharmaceutical industry.
|New design boosts productivity of bag ports.|
Parabolic lead-ins on ports reduce the time required to drain a bag by up to 24%, according to Ken Davis, Value Plastics' global marketing manager.
Alignment ribs improve fluid flow dynamics by reducing shear impact as material exits the bag. For widespread industry compatibility, the new ports are designed to work with common tubing sizes, as well as industry-standard fittings, filters and other devices.
The bag ports have an animal derivative-free qualification, USP Class VI certification, heat sealing conformance with polyethylene bags and a 24-hour resistance to alcohol stress cracking.
Davis said chemical resistance is a critical feature when processing materials that can cost thousands of dollars per liter.
A Value Plastics research official told Plastics Today that a recently developed polyolefin is used in the bag port application.
Stearic acids used as lubricants in plastics historically were derived from beef tallow. Even though their concentrations in plastic compounds have been minuscule, efforts to develop alternates intensified a few years ago. Vegetable fats, such as cocoa butter, can also be used as a feedstock.
Value Plastics works with a variety of plastics including PVC, polyethylene, polycarbonate, nylon, ABS silicone, acrylic, polyacetal and polypropylene.
The company specializes in fluid management components designed specifically for flexible tubing. Products include quick connect fittings, luer fittings, check valves, tube-to-tube fittings, threaded fittings and blood pressure monitoring components.
Nordson, a producer of precision dispensing equipment, acquired Value Plastics last year.
"Value Plastics supports Nordson's strategic objective of building upon our medical and life sciences platform and complements our existing growing positions in biomaterial delivery devices and medical device assembly," commented Nordson CEO Michael F. Hilton at the time of the acquisiiton.