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Elastomer grades tailored for medical devices

Underlining its ongoing commitment to the medical industry, Arkema (Colombes, France) now offers specialized grades for medical devices marketed as the Pebax MED series of resins.

June 8, 2010

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Elastomer grades tailored for medical devices

According to the supplier, these grades represent the highest quality of Pebax polymers for medical applications, including devices exposed short term to bodily fluids (<30 days). Effective Jan. 1, 2011, Arkema will no longer offer standard grade Pebax SA resins for any medical applications. Pebax is a polyether block amide thermoplastic elastomer that can be injection molded or extruded.

Pebax resin has been a preferred material in medical devices, such as minimally invasive catheters for angioplasty, since the mid 1990s. It has gained recognition over other elastomers for its excellent flexibility, kink resistance, torque transfer, low coefficient of friction, and resistance to softening in the body.

Over recent years, however, the functional and processing requirements for polymers have become more rigorous. Arkema is introducing this new Pebax grade as part of an ongoing commitment to the medical industry, offering a range of grades specifically intended for today's devices. 
"Our highest-quality Pebax MED resin will be instrumental in helping OEMs meet the growing demands of minimally invasive and intravascular devices by improving product performance and manufacturing yields," says Basker Lalgudi, Arkema's North American medical market manager.

All Pebax MED resin grades have passed USP Class VI biocompatibility testing and are sterilizable by EtO, gamma and steam, key requirements for minimally invasive devices.

Pebax thermoplastic elastomer is manufactured in the U.S. by Arkema Inc. (Philadelphia, PA) and marketed in North America through its strategic partner Foster Corp., a PolyMedex Discovery Group company (Putnam, CT, USA).—Stephen Moore

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