• Live from MD&M West: Arkema Acquires Oxford

    Oxford Performance Materials' OXPEKK material is used to make components such as spinal cages for the back. French chemicals producer Arkema Inc. (Philadelphia) has acquired Oxford Performance Materials Inc. (Enfield, CT), supplier of the OXPEKK line of polymers. Oxford will continue to operate from its Enfield headquarters, where it maintains an injection-molding operation with a Class 100,000 cleanroom. Used in a range of medical devices, OXPEKK polyether ketone ketone is...
  • Live from MD&M West: Value Plastics Launches Two Product Lines

    The SBL-series connector systems are designed to be intuitive, easy to use, safe, secure, and reliable. Value Plastics (Fort Collins, CO), a company specializing in precision plastic components, has unveiled two new products at MD&M West. Suited for use in such fluid applications as wound drainage, respiratory equipment, and endoscopic tube sets, the SBL-series connector systems are designed to be intuitive, easy to use, safe, secure, and reliable. "Connectors should be...
  • Live from MD&M West: All Is Not Doom and Gloom

    APEC adds three new cleanrooms to its production facility. While things are overwhelmingly bad on the economic front, there are snippets of good news to report. Here's one. APEC (Baldwin Park, CA) has announced that it has expanded its medical device manufacturing facility. A division of Helix Medical (Carpinteria, CA), the company says that the expansion includes three new cleanrooms: a 10,000 sq-ft Class 100,000 (ISO Class 8) room for injection molding and assembly, a...
  • Changing Lanes in Michigan

    What do contractors do when the industries they serve are on the skids? Just ask Michigan's auto parts suppliers, whose ability to stay on the road is threatened by the collapse of Detroit's Big Three automakers. To compensate for declining orders from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, auto parts vendors are increasingly jumping on the medical device bandwagon, eager to make the transition from steering wheels to stents. In the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades, which has taken...
  • Real-Time Images of the Beating Human Heart? No Problem!

    The ADAS1128 converter enables real-time imaging of moving subjects by CT systems. Credit: Analog Devices Manufactured by Analog Devices Inc. (ADI; Norwood, MA), the ADAS1128 24-bit analog-to-digital converter may enable the next-generation of imaging capabilities. High-slice-count CT scanners that incorporate the chip will be able to capture real-time moving images with a high degree of accuracy and detail. On-demand images of the beating human heart are just one example of...
  • Intel Inside?

    Researchers from Edinburgh University have developed a method for growing neurons on the surface of computer chips. An image of the technique can be viewed here. Funded by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the scientists first printed patterns on the smooth surface of a silicon chip and then dipped it in a mixture of proteins. As a result, neurons—the basic cells of the nervous system—grew along the patterns on the chip surface. Alan Murray, head of...
  • Pelican Products Acquires Hardigg Industries

    A line worker installs a trolley on a Protector case, one of Pelican Product's popular transport cases. Believed to be the largest acquisition in the history of the protective case industry, plastic injection-molded case manfacturer Pelican Products Inc. (Torrance, CA) has acquired Hardigg Industries (South Deerfield, MA), which specializes in rotational-molded (roto-molded) protective cases. The long-time competitors will combine their respective strengths to expand...
  • PerkinElmer Acquires Opto Technology

    The future looks bright for PerkinElmer (Fremont, CA), thanks to the latest strategical move to identify and acquire companies with capabilities that are complementary to its own. PerkinElmer today announced the acquisition of Opto Technology Inc. (Wheeling, IL), a supplier specializing in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and related subsystems. In addition to expanding PerkinElmer's LED offerings, the acquisition increases the company's presence as a supplier to the medical device industry. Opto...
  • Storm Clouds over Minnesota Medtech Industry

    Those who have ever been to Minnesota can see with their own eyes that the state really does have many lakes, if not exactly 10,000 of them. Not long ago, they could also see that the state boasted a robust medical device manufacturing sector, but that may be changing. A recent industry report claims that medtech advances in Minnesota are on the wane, attributing the brewing crisis to lack of state support, failing innovation, and shortsightedness on the part of the University of Minnesota....
  • Peptides vs. Superbug: The Ultimate Showdown?

    Image Credit: University of British Columbia High rates of infection stemming from surgical implantation are causing device manufacturers to scramble for bacteria-fighting coatings and additives to incorporate in their products. Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC; Vancouver) have discovered that synthetic-form, short, tethered, cationic antimicrobial peptides have demonstrated efficacy at killing bacteria that come into contact with them. Naturally...
  • Methods Machine Tools Turns 50

    In 2009, Methods Machine Tools (Sudbury, MA) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since its humble beginnings in 1958 as a three-person operation equipped with only a few refurbished machines, the company has swelled to employ more than 300 people, expanded to include seven facilities and technology centers, and installed more than 27,000 systems. Among the company's offerings are EDM machines, five-axis machining centers, multitasking CNC lathes, and robotics. Throughout this year,...
  • EaglePicher Medical Power Moves to Texas

    EaglePicher Medical Power supplies batteries for implantable medical devices, such as its Micro Cell battery, which can be deployed via a minimally invasive catheter. EaglePicher Medical Power LLC, an EaglePicher company, is in the process of moving its headquarters to Plano, TX. The company supplies primary and rechargeable batteries for implantable medical devices. Previously located in Joplin, MO, the supplier plans to open its new facility in March 2009, complete with a...
  • Scientists Develop Cancer-Killing Polymer Implant

    Harvard University scientists have invented an implant that attracts and trains cells to kill cancer. An immunotherapeutic approach, the technique uses polymer material to induce the body‘s immune system to recognize and destroy tumors. Immunotherapy usually removes immune—or dendritic—cells from the body, exposes them to chemical activators and cancer-specific antigens, and then reintroduces them into the patient. However, most dendritic cells die when they reenter the body....
  • Contract Manufacturer Offers Regulatory Submission Program

    Contract manufacturer BC Tech, which specializes in Class I, II, and II devices, now offers a regulatory submission program. Product development and contract manufacturing services provider BC Tech (Santa Cruz, CA) has expanded on its current capabilities to offer a regulatory submission program. Designed to make the most of quality assurance measures already in place, the program runs parallel to the company's development and manufacturing processes to anticipate regulatory...
  • Nanoporous Metal Surfaces Could Improve Implants

    By chemically modifying the surfaces of such biocompatible metals as titanium, a multidisciplinary research team led by the Université de Montréal has produced metals with 'intelligent' surfaces that facilitate healing and acceptance of implants by the body. The altered surface's ability to stimulate cell growth and development could eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals in future orthopedic, dental, and cardiovascular prostheses. Upon applying chemical compounds to the biocompatible metal,...
  • Glucose Sensor: Coolest Tattoo Idea Yet

    A cell glows red after being injected with nanosensors that fluoresce in the presence of sodium. Credit: Heather Clark, Draper Laboratory Tattoos are all the rage these days. But scientists at Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA) are working toward the development of a different sort of "tattoo"—one that will monitor diabetics' blood-sugar level. Headed by Heather Clark, analytical chemist and task leader of Draper's biomedical engineering group, a team of researchers is...
  • Stretchable Electronics Twist and Strain

    Optical image of a freely deformed stretchable array of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor inverters. Image Credit: John A. Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An intercollegiate research project has resulted in the development of materials and mechanical design strategies for flexible electronics suited for use in biomedical devices, among other applications. Because conventional wafer-based technologies can no longer satisfy some needs of developing...
  • Moog Acquires Ethox International

    Moog Inc. (East Aurora, NY), a designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems, announced the acquisition of Ethox International (Buffalo, NY) today. Since 2006, Moog has steadily increased its presence in the medical device industry through a slew of acquisitions centering on various types of pumps. The acquisition of Ethox serves to further broaden Moog's offerings to the medical device industry. Ethox specializes in the contract manufacture of medical...
  • Nonmagnetic Actuators Power Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Device

    Nonmagnetic Nanomotion actuators supplied by Johnson Medtech (Shelton, CT) served as key components in the development of the world's first MRI-compatible image-guided tumor treatment device. Manufactured by Profound Medical Inc. (Toronto), the minimally invasive thermal ablation device demonstrated in preclinical trials that it can treat prostate cancer as well as or better than radiation and may have fewer side effects. Creating a major obstacle to success in this project in the past was the...
  • Thermoplastics Compounder Opens Ultraclean Production Facility

    Thermoplastics compounder launches clean compounds production site for sensitive medical applications. A compounder of custom-engineered thermoplastics has established a controlled manufacturing center dedicated to the production of clean compounds for sensitive medical applications. RTP Co. (Winona, MN) says that it has built the facility in response to customers‘ demands for clean materials. According to Gregg Newby, RTP‘s global director of marketing and...