Advances in medical polymers and associated technologies will be front and center at next week's co-located PLASTEC Midwest and MD&M Chicago exhibition and conference. Industry experts will explore such topics as designing and producing resorbable medical devices, effectively performing failure analysis of medical plastics, and using scientific molding techniques to improve process outcomes during an afternoon session on Oct. 16, 2014.
As PlasticsToday recently reported, "dissolvable stents may be a future game-changer for the way we treat coronary artery disease and heart attack in the United States." The underlying chemistry of bioresorbable technology and an understanding of the mechanical requirements of devices that dissolve once they have completed their task will be explored by Dennis D. Jamiolkowski, Distinguished Research Fellow, Ethicon (Somerville, NJ).
At a conference earlier this year, Jamiolkowski noted that a material's mechanical and functional properties may degrade before the material itself is finally absorbed in the body, making it incumbent upon manufacturers to optimize materials for different medical device applications and age cohorts. During his session in Chicago, Jamiolkowski will address design and manufacturing issues related to the chemistry of absorbable polymers; product requirements, including mechanical properties, absorption rates, and sterilization methods; device failure mechanisms; and the interrelationship of chemistry, processing, and polymer morphology in the development of these devices.
Jamiolkowski's presentation will be followed by a paper on failure analysis of medical plastics by Stephen Spiegelberg, Ph.D., President, Cambridge Polymer Group (Boston, MA). Speigelberg notably will explain how to recognize failure indicators and track them to their root causes. During the course of the presentation, he will present a number of failure analysis case studies and present analytical test methods that can be used to identify the cause of failures.
Rob Bodor, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Proto Labs (Maple Plain, MN), will round out the session by offering design tips for injection molding and, in particular, explaining how scientific molding principles can solve many of the process and tooling problems that molders face. Removing emotion from the equation and, instead, performing a systematic deductive analysis of defects and letting the data determine decisions is a key element of scientific molding, which Bodor will explain in some depth.
Bodor recently took over the CTO position from Proto Labs founder and Chairman Larry Lukis. He has a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota and previously worked with McKinsey & Company and Honeywell.
â Norbert Sparrow