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Material Matters and Devices a Focus of NPE Conference

Material Matters and Devices a Focus of NPE Conference

The spirited debate on the use of PVC that has rocked the medical device industry moves to NPE 2000 in June. A discussion of the material's current status and its prospects for continued applications in healthcare is the topic of one of five conference sessions devoted to the use of polymers in the device industry. Titled Medical Productivity Through Innovation, the conference runs concurrently with the triennial plastics show that is held at Chicago's McCormick Place from June 19 to 23.

Scheduled to be moderated by Robert Portnoy of Exxon Chemical Co., the conference also includes a session on the use of polymers in advanced medical device and biomaterial applications presented by Jon Katz, editor of MPMN's sister publication Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry. "Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology and medicine have been said to herald the dawning of an entirely new era, and plastics are playing a critical role in many of the emerging technologies," says Katz. Areas under development range from drug delivery and artificial organs to tissue engineering and bioactive surface modification, adds Katz, and include advances in cardiovascular, ophthalmic, and orthopedic biomaterials.

A number of issues related to the use of polymers in medical equipment will be discussed at this year's NPE show.

Other sessions include an overview of current and emerging sterilization methods presented by William Young of Griffith Microscience, a look at regulatory and liability issues spearheaded by John Luedke of Covington and Burling, and a paper on developments in plastics biocompatibility testing and international standards from Paul Upman of North American Science Associates Inc. Len Czuba from Herbst Lazar Bell Inc. will address the PVC issue. Numerous other conference sessions devoted to horizontal plastics-related processes, equipment, and materials are also scheduled. Conference sessions focusing on the medical market are scheduled for June 22; admission is free to registered show visitors.

For more information on NPE 2000, visit the SPE Web site at http://www.4spe.org.—Norbert Sparrow

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PLASTICS GROUP OF AMERICA

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