Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) opened its first application technology laboratory for medical devices in Shanghai, China, in August. A template for similar projects the company plans to roll out in other parts of the world, the laboratory will provide support to local medical device manufacturers developing products that incorporate Evonik polymers.
Evonik's Resomer and Resomer Select brands offer a range of biodegradable polymers used in orthopedic devices, including screws and plates. The polymers are resorbed within the body over a predetermined period of time that can range from six months to two years. This property eliminates the need for secondary surgery to remove the devices, reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life for the patient.
"The market for medical devices is becoming increasingly important to our healthcare business, in particular in China, where we expect strong growth over the coming years," commented Dr. Jean-Luc Herbeaux, head of the Health Care Business Line in the Nutrition & Care segment, in a prepared statement.
The lab will provide customers with product and application support and assist in characterizing the appropriate injection molding and extrusion process. The manufacture of technical samples for feasibility studies is also available.
"Our goal is to help our customers design and scale up medical devices faster," explained Herbeaux. ??The first customer projects are scheduled to start in the coming weeks. New applied technology laboratories for medical devices are planned in other regions; the next one is scheduled for Darmstadt, Germany, to serve the European market.
Although considered a niche market within plastics, the bioresorbable and biodegradable segment is forecast to experience substantial 15.8% growth through 2020, according to a report on the medical polymers market published by Grand View Research.