Life sciences and materials company DSM (Geleen, Netherlands) has announced the commercial launch of what it claims is the thinnest medical-grade ultrahigh molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber on the market. The 10 dtex fiber, available in white or blue, joins the company's Dyneema Purity portfolio. DSM is showcasing the material at booth 1715 at the MD&M West exhibition and conference this week in Anaheim, CA.
The fiber is four times stronger than polyester and thinner than any other UHMWPE medical fiber on the market, according to DSM. Use of the fiber in cardiovascular sutures will enable surgeons to reach new patient groups with small or blocked veins and arteries. Other applications include transcatheter heart valves (TAVI/TAVR systems) and abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm stent grafts.
In 2012, the global minimally invasive surgery market was valued at approximately $25 billion, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5 percent to reach a market value of more than $50 billion by 2019, according to Transparency Market Research. Minimally invasive surgical procedures typically result in less discomfort and faster recovery times for patients, writes DSM in a press release. As such, medical device makers seek materials that enable the production and design of devices with tinier profiles. The Dyneema Purity 10 dtex fiber's fine denier promotes the design of smaller devices without compromising strength or durability.
The fiber is produced exclusively at the company's Greenville, NC, facility, which is specialized in medical-grade manufacturing. The plant is certified to ISO 13485:2003, the international quality standard for medical manufacturing.