Silicone got a bad rap in the 1990s because of breast implants, but the concerns proved to be unfounded, Czuba says. “It’s a good material that’s used in combination with other overmolded products," he says.
Benefits: Silicone is soft, elastomeric, clean, gas-permeable, resistant to high temperatures and chemicals, and provides good insulation for electrical contacts and good grip for instruments.
Potential Drawbacks: This material is a bit more expensive than thermoplastic materials and can’t be processed using the same machines. Processing cycles are also longer, which adds to its expense.
Applications: Chemotherapy ports, shunts, joint replacement, catheters, balloons, urinary catheters, heart valves, breast implants, wound care, and contact lenses.