Medical-grade TPE developed as alternative to silicone in biopharmaceutical tubing

PolyOne (Avon Lake, OH) reports that it has developed a new medical-grade thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) for its Versaflex line of materials in response to rising demand among medical device OEMs for alternatives to silicone. Reported shortages of siloxane, a key ingredient in silicone, and the closure of some ethylene oxide sterilization facilities have led to higher prices and longer lead times for medical tubing, said PolyOne in a press release, and that has sparked demand for alternative materials. The new Versaflex HC BT218 will be launched at Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West next week in Anaheim, CA.

Biopharma lab
Among other applications, biopharmaceutical tubing is used in biotech laboratories. Image courtesy PolyOne.

Versaflex HC BT218 TPE delivers on critical demands for biopharmaceutical tubing applications, including weldability, kink resistance and tensile strength performance comparable to leading medical tubing materials, including silicone and other TPEs, said PolyOne. Commercially available in the United States, it has been submitted for USP Class VI and ISO 10993-4,5 certifications.

“We’re excited to add the new Versaflex grade to our expanding set of solutions that enable customers to continue pursuing product innovation and meet market demands,” said Jim Mattey, Global Marketing Director, Specialty Engineered Materials. “We are committed to leveraging our material science expertise to formulate alternative and customized solutions that meet regulatory demands and functional necessity for life-saving medical devices, especially in the face of market uncertainties.”

PolyOne will feature Versaflex HC BT218, along with its broader portfolio of engineered polymers for medical applications, in booth 2201 at the co-located MD&M West and PLASTEC West trade show and conference. The event comes to Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 11 to 13. Go to the show website for more information and to register to attend.

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