• Trading in Body Parts at MD&M West

    Synthetic tissue models offer a realistic testing alternative to the use of live animals and cadavers.One of the busiest booths at this year's MD&M West in Anaheim featured body parts—not real ones, of course, but synthetic ones made by SynDaver Labs (Tampa, FL). Soft and cold to the touch, a range of virtual body parts—including blood vessels, internal organs, and even a nearly complete skinned cadaver—filled metal lab trays.Why all the gore? SynDaver offers synthetic body parts as...
  • Micromolding of PEEK: It Can Be Done

    Although molding PEEK has historically been challenging, micromolding can, in fact, produce both simple and complex geometries using the material without extra cost, according to Scott Herbert, president of micromolding specialist Rapidwerks Inc. (Pleasanton, CA). In a presentation at the recent MD&M West conference sessions, Herbert spoke about "Precision Micromolding of PEEK Components" as well as associated benefits, obstacles, and considerations.Characterizing a micromolded part as...
  • Medical Device Assembly: LED- Vs. Lamp-Based Technologies

    Which is better for medical device assembly: A lamp-based UV spot-curing system or an LED-based one? "The answer to that depends on your process, the parts you're joining, and the application," says Mike Kay of Lumen Dynamics (Mississauga, ON, Canada). In his presentation, "High-Throughput, Low-Temperature UV Assembly of Medical Devices" at the MD&M West Innovation Briefs Theater last week, Kay addressed the pros and cons of each technology.LED systems are up-and-comers of sorts, according...
  • Simple and Precise Hydrogel Sensor Could Be Used for Glucose Monitoring

    New type of biological and chemical sensor based on hydrogel works by determining pH. The microscopic images at bottom show how the hydrogel stripes expand with decreasing acidity. (Photo courtesy of Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University)Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) are developing a new type of biological and chemical sensor that has few moving parts and is highly sensitive, sturdy, and long-lasting. Capable of determining pH, the sensor could be used in...
  • Color Blind: Why You Shouldn't Treat Color as an Afterthought in Device Design

    Clariant's Mevopur masterbatches are produced in ISO 13485-certified facilities.The use of color in a medical device can provide market differentiation and an attractive aesthetic that can appeal to consumers or discerning doctors, depending on the end use. But there’s more to color for medical device applications than meets the eye, according to George Pape, medical device and healthcare market manager at Clariant Masterbatches (Holden, MA). At MD&M West this past week, Pape and his...
  • Five Medical Device Technologies that Point to the Future

    From materials and equipment to software and artificial body parts, hundreds upon hundreds of medical device technologies were on view at this year’s MD&M West. Among them, five offerings stand out as technologies that could shape the direction of medical device development in the months and years to come.Wire-Reinforced Multilumen tubing Putnam Plastics (Dayville, CT) has developed a wire-reinforced multilumen tubing for minimally invasive procedures that the company says represents an...
  • Laser Sintering System Enables Development of Complex PEEK Prototypes

    Laser sintering can produce custom PEEK craniofacial implants quickly and economically. Manufacturer EOS (Novi, MI) had a lot to share at MD&M West this week regarding its P 800 laser-sintering system. Touted as the first laser-sintering system operating at up to 385°C processing high-performance polymers, the P 800 is enabling development of innovative and traditionally difficult-to-manufacture implants and parts.As the first and only U.S. company currently in possession of this...
  • Report Highlights Tomorrow's Drug-Delivery Coating Platforms

    A new report spotlighting advances in coating technologies will help developers and users alike to analyze a range of different platforms, therapeutic targets, and market drivers. Offered by Greystone Research Associates (Amherst, NH), "Drug Coatings and Coated Device Drug Delivery: Evolving Technology, Emerging Opportunities" provides readers with a detailed understanding of enabling technologies, candidate devices, market participants, and commercial prospects.Strides in drug-delivery coating...
  • Could Ceramic Drug-Eluting Stents Be on the Horizon?

    When speaking about the future of stents, bioabsorbable polymers and sometimes bioabsorbable magnesium tend to come up—rarely does the conversation turn to ceramics, however. But don’t count them out in stent development just yet. Bioceramics could, in fact, serve several prominent functions in next-generation drug-eluting stents, according to UK-based materials testing, analysis, and consultancy specialist Ceram.In its recent white paper “Stents—New Materials and Technologies for the Future,”...
  • Zirconia Ceramic Component Restores Voice to Cancer Patients

    Zirconia ceramic from Morgan Technical Ceramics is used as a valve material for a voice-restoration implant.Up to 15% of patients diagnosed with throat cancer every year require a laryngectomy, which results in speech loss. Some speech and vocal function can be restored by means of valves that reconnect the trachea and esophagus. Current valve designs consist of a tube and incorporate a flap that opens as air is forced through. However, this valve, which is traditionally made from silicone...
  • 4000 Years of Medical Device Materials…and Counting

    Biomimetics—a big-sounding word used to describe science’s quest for new materials and processes derived from models in the natural world. But in an 18-minute presentation available on YouTube, Abhay Pandit, a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway, argues compellingly that the search for materials that mimic Mother Nature goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians.If you want to learn how Teflon found its way into the medical device...
  • Could California's Status Be Slipping as a Medtech Hub?

    California, along with Massachusetts and Minnesota, has long been regarded as a leading hub for the domestic (and global) medical device industry. But could its medtech stronghold soon be in jeopardy? A new report issued by the California Healthcare Institute, BayBio, and PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that may just be the case.The 2011 California Biomedical Industry Report found that 80% of responding biomedical company CEOs in the state have been approached by other countries, states, or...
  • Seven Design Maxims to Consider When Developing a New Product

    Venkat Rajan, industry manager, medical devices, at Frost & Sullivan.During "Innovations in Medical Implant Technologies for the Next Decade," the keynote address of MPMN's recent virtual event, speaker Venkat Rajan of Frost & Sullivan presented predictions for the implant market in the next decade, spoke about new buzz words that will come into play, and identified some 'mega trends' that will impact implant design in coming years. In addition to this compelling information,...
  • Georgia Tech Researchers Develop a Transistor Suitable for Plastic Electronics

    A top-gate organic field-effect transistor with a bilayer gate insulator can be fabricated on a plastic substrate, making it suitable for such applications as smart bandages.In the quest to develop flexible plastic electronics, one of the stumbling blocks has been creating transistors with enough stability for them to function in a variety of environments while still maintaining the current needed to power devices. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta)...
  • Medical Device Tax Could Fuel Outsourcing Activity

    Slated to go into effect in 2013, the impending 2.3% excise tax on 'taxable medical devices' could prompt an uptick in outsourcing activity, according to a new report by Kalorama Information. “The tax itself won’t force a firm to outsource," according to Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “But since the law taxes revenues notwithstanding the cost of manufacture, it could add further pressure to bring costs down in order to restore profits.” Whether this prediction of increased...
  • Novel Microfluidic Technology Is Worth the Paper It's Written On

    To demonstrate the new microfluidic concept, paper strips containing arrays of dots dipped in luminol were created. Blood was then sprayed on the strips, showing the presence of hemoglobin. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) have invented a technique for making microfluidic devices out of paper. The patented technique could enhance commercially available diagnostic devices that use paper-strip assays such as those used to test for diabetes...
  • Don't Forget: Free Virtual Event on Implantable Device Design Today

    Join the content teams of MPMN, MD+DI, and OrthoTec for a free Virtual Conference and Trade Show dedicated to cutting-edge trends in the design of implantable medical devices. The combined virtual conference and trade show offers the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with industry experts, thought-leaders, and technology providers direct from your desktop–virtually from anywhere you have online access. "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices" features a...
  • Coiled Silicon Nanowires Spring to Action in Flexible Electronics

    Silicon nanowire coils can be stretched 104% beyond their original length. Image: NC State.Flexible electronics are no longer a stretch of the imagination. In fact, researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) believe that they have made significant progress in the field by fabricating silicon nanowire coils on an elastomeric substrate. Intended to promote stretchability without compromising electric performance, this design could help to realize flexible electronics–based health-...
  • PolyOne Opens Product Development Innovation Center in Germany

    PolyOne Corp. (Avon Lake, OH), a provider of specialized polymer materials and services, has announced the opening of an innovation center in Gaggenau, Germany. The new facility will support application development for the company's global specialty platform by enabling customers to develop, test, process optimize, and color match materials. “The ability to replicate manufacturing conditions will facilitate faster and more-efficient product launches for our customers, thereby reducing their...
  • Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices

    What does the market look like for medical implants in the next decade? What novel biomaterials are available for next-generation cardiac implants? What are the latest surface technologies to facilitate bone in-growth on orthopedic implants? Is there really innovation taking place in implantable device design? These topics will be answered in an upcoming free virtual event, "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices."Cohosted by MPMN, along with its sister publications, MD+DI...