Experts Discuss How Plastics Are Advancing Medtech Innovation

The SPE/MPD MiniTec Conference features two days of sessions devoted to medical plastics, part of the co-located MD&M and Plastec West events.

Joe Darrah

January 9, 2024

2 Min Read
nurse holding anesthesia mask
Shannon Fagan/Image Bank via Getty Images

At a Glance

  • Current advances and future trends highlighted during two-day conference
  • Sessions include global effect of PFAS on medical polymers and devices
  • Panel of experts to discuss impact of medical plastics on new device designs

As medical device technology continues to advance, the scope of what devices can accomplish also has evolved in more sophisticated and comprehensive ways. Today’s devices don’t just offer improved solutions during acute patient care — they are more often serving diagnostic purposes as well as post-treatment surveillance. The versatility and sustainability of plastics, in particular, have allowed for significant product contributions at a more affordable cost. As innovations in medical plastics, processing methods, and designs help advance industry standards and best practices, regulations and sustainability initiatives are also expected to grow. 

Today’s most significant advances and promising future trends will be a focus of the upcoming MiniTec Conference sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Medical Plastics Division in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 5 and 6, part of Informa Markets Engineering West 2024. The event will include two days of expert education across 24 technical presentations covering hot topics in medical plastics and the future of industry technology. 

Sessions include:

Materials: Innovations in Resins, Surface Modifications, and Processing (Feb. 5; 8 a.m.)

  • Biodegradable TPUs for Tissue Repair; Andre Martinez, DSM Biomedical

  • Microbial Susceptibility of Various Polymers and Evaluation of Thermoplastic Elastomers with Antimicrobial Additives; Fred Birkel, Avient Corp.

  • Novel Bioresorbable Polymer Composites for Medical Device Applications; Dr. Jing Liu, DSM-Firmenich

Global Impact of PFAS on Medical Polymers & Devices (Feb. 5; 1 p.m.)

  • Keynote presentation; Maureen Reitman, Exponent

  • Global Impact of PFAS Regulatory Restrictions on Medical Plastics; Troy Barrix, Celanese Corp.

  • Navigating PFAS Replacements in the Plastics Industry; Ryan Divens, Avient Corp.

Progress Updates in Sustainability of Medical Polymers (Feb. 5; 3 p.m.)

  • Impact of Sustainability and Sterilization Trends on Material Selection for Medical Devices; Jackie Anim, Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. and Rob Klein, ArtiCure Inc.

  • Driving Toward Net Zero: A Sustainable and Circular Design Approach with Homopolymer Polyoxymethylene; Elizabeth Stubbs, DuPont Delrin

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Recycling of Medical Plastics; Hilda Buss, Exponent

New Product Designs Highlighting and Enabled by Medical Polymers (Feb. 6; 10:15 a.m.)

  • Smart Bandages Promote Wound Healing with Advanced Materials; Joanne Moody, Zeta Scientific LLC

  • Closing the Loop: Innovating a Better Feeding Tube System; Millie Nuno, Hoffer Plastics Corp.

  • Recent Innovations in High Aspect Ratio Catheter Tips and Cannulas; Brent Hahn, Isometric Micro Molding Inc.

  • Medical and Drug Delivery Device Design for Biocompatibility; Mark Burchnall, PSN Labs

Drug Delivery & Novel Processing of Medical Polymers (Feb. 6; 3:15 p.m.)

  • Innovations in Laser Joining for Device Manufacturing; Jeff Ellis, EWI

  • Processing Bioplastics via Extrusion for Medical Device and Drug Delivery Products; Charlie Martin, Leistritz Extrusion

  • Deep Dive into Drug Delivery Device Trends; Brian Rubin, Josh Blackmore, M. Holland Co.

  • Controlled Release via Polymeric Sintered Electrospun Capsules with Nanoscale Porosity; Francisco Chaparro, Nanoscience Instruments

In addition to the conference, attendees will have access to all of the free education opportunities available at Informa Markets Engineering West, which includes the co-located Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) and Plastec events. For more information, to register to attend, and see a list of industry sponsors, visit the conference homepage

About the Author(s)

Joe Darrah

Joe Darrah is an award-winning freelance journalist based in the Philadelphia region who covers a variety of topics, including healthcare and medical technology. His articles have been published in more than 40 publications.

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