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Bio-based Polymer Makes Inroads in Medical Device Applications

The housing of a urinary catheter marketed by Sweden’s Wellspect HealthCare incorporates ISCC PLUS–certified CirculenRenew polymers from LyondellBasell.

Posted by Staff

April 26, 2023

2 Min Read
female urinary catheter
Image courtesy of LyondellBasell

While renewables are all the rage in many applications — or so it seems — bio-based polymers typically are not under material selection consideration for medical devices. One exception to the rule is the housing of a female urinary catheter marketed by Swedish medtech OEM Wellspect HealthCare. The LoFric Elle device incorporates CirculenRenew polymers from LyondellBasell. The grade is ISCC PLUS–certified and comes with a mass balance certificate allocating the bio-based raw materials to the product, said LyondellBasell.

“At LyondellBasell, we want to support our customers in their sustainability ambitions. Our Circulen product family helps to make this possible,” said Marketing Manager Mathieu Lecomte. “Our CirculenRenew polymers are sourced from renewable-based materials, such as used cooking oil, that we get from our supplier Neste.”

Finland-based Neste produces renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel as well as raw materials for plastics made entirely out of renewable and recycled materials. The Neste RE material can be used on its own as a drop-in replacement for fossil fuel–based polymers or in blends.

LyondellBasell’s CirculenRenew has the same properties as products sourced from fossil-based materials, said the company, and, therefore, can be used in medical device applications. “Through the use of renewable-based materials, CirculenRenew contributes to the reduction of fossil feedstock and greenhouse gas emissions over the product's life cycle. This was an important aspect for our customer Wellspect HealthCare, who has the ambition to become a sustainability leader in its industry,” said Lecomte.

The LoFric Elle urinary catheter is specifically designed for women that need to self-catheterize. A built-in handle that can be angled in various positions provides users with control and visibility, and the device is designed with a non-medical aesthetic. It fits discreetly in a pocket or handbag. The device received the 2020 IF Design Award in the medicine/health category and was named a 2020 Red Dot Design Award winner.

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