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Articles from 2004 In November


Bending, Shaping, and Molding the Future with Plastics

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

PRODUCT UPDATE

Bending, Shaping, and Molding the Future with Plastics

Bioabsorbability, strength, and clarity are key for medical plastics and elastomers

Susan Wallace


T here are several things that medical device OEMs require when choosing plastics and elastomers for the formulation of their products. Toughness, clarity, and resistance against repeated sterilization procedures all play a role in a manufacturer’s selection process. Some product applications also may require a polymer to be biodegradable. Recent uses of bioabsorbable polymers include surface coatings on drug-eluting stents. Implantable devices designed for site-specific drug delivery may also be produced using biodegradable polymers, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the devices. This article explores recent advances in the development and design of plastics and elastomers.

Company Receives Patent for Polymeric Tissue Implants

Cyrolite compounds from Cyro Industries are suitable for use in products requiring gamma irradiation, high impact strength, and low melt-flow rates.


Biodegradability of polymers continues to be a hot topic within the medical device industry. OsteoBiologics Inc. (OBI; San Antonio, TX), a manufacturer of bioabsorbable polymeric materials, recently received a U.S. patent for its fiber-reinforced biodegradable scaffolds. The patent covers methods of manufacturing fiber-reinforced, polymeric implant materials useful for tissue engineering, specifically to facilitate regeneration of load-bearing tissues such as articular cartilage and bone. This new patent broadens existing OBI technologies for both porous and nonporous resorbable scaffolds useful as implants.
 
Multipolymer Compound Product Line Expands

Cyro Industries (Rockaway, NJ) has expanded its range of Cyrolite acrylic-based multipolymer compounds for global manufacturers of disposable medical devices. The new formulations of transparent Cyrolite compounds are suitable for use in products requiring gamma irradiation, alcohol and lipid resistance, exceptional impact strength, and low melt-flow rates. Applications include luers, spikes, check valves, blood-handling components, catheter accessories, rigid packaging trays, and IV adaptors, connectors, and filter housings.

Water-Soluble Polymers Stay Strong and Clear

Tensile strength and enhanced clarity meet solubility with the development of a water-soluble polymer by A. Schulman Inc. (Akron, OH). AquaSol uses a proprietary polyvinyl alcohol technology for film and injection molding applications. The polymer’s physical properties are similar to blown film, yet when exposed to water, it dissolves in as little as 60 seconds. While previous water-soluble materials have had issues with processing and yellowing of the film, AquaSol is free from these problems, according to business manager Oscar Mascarenhas. The polymer is available as a raw material in pellet form in three grades: cold-water formulation, hot-water formulation, and a general-grade formula for any water temperature. Potential uses include packaging for detergents and chemicals, barrier films, graphics films, and disposable medical supplies, as well as injection-molded products.

Thermoplastic Elastomer Is Designed for Comolding and Surface Use

A series of medical grades of a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound developed by VTC France, SAS (La Chabanne, France) offer an alternative to silicone and natural rubber. Mediprene can be molded into medical devices for surface use. TPE materials have excellent transparency, making them suitable for use in surface devices. The materials are also flexible, soft to the touch, disposable, and easily sterilized. As with most TPEs, Mediprene may be comolded or coextruded with other polymers.

Getting Clear with Transparent Copolymers

The blood filter pictured above was molded using Nova Chemicals’ Zylar 390, an acrylic copolymer that retains clarity even after repeated sterilization processes.

Nova Chemicals Corp. (Pittsburgh) has introduced Zylar 390, a clear acrylic copolymer with a lower specific gravity and greater color consistency than other transparent copolymers. Reduced drying requirements and machine wear make Zylar suitable for molding applications. The copolymer is an impact-modified resin that does not discolor during sterilization processes such as gamma radiation, EtO, and E-beam. Lower injection pressure, clamp force, and mold and melt temperatures are needed to process Zylar as compared with polycarbonate, according to the company. Zylar can also be extruded in frosted appearance applications.

Resins Offer Lipid Resistance and Gamma Color Stability

Three new resins from GE Advanced Materials have resistance to lipids and color stability. The new Lexan resins include a gamma-stabilized grade that combines resistance to lipids with multiple-cycle autoclave sterilization capability; a gamma-stabilized grade that offers a midrange melt-flow index (MFI); and a clear, high-heat polycarbonate for repeated autoclave use.

The Lexan HPS7 resin is a lipid-resistant polycarbonate that is stabilized for exposure to gamma and E-beam irradiation. It shows no statistically significant change in physical properties after gamma sterilization. This new grade can be used in healthcare applications for the blood-care, surgical support equipment, and fluid-delivery segments. Potential uses include blood dialyzer components, stopcocks, luers, and Y-sites.

AquaSol from A. Schulman has properties similar to blown film but will dissolve in as little as 60 seconds when exposed to water.

Lexan HPS4 resin is a gamma-stabilized material engineered for an MFI of 10, further expanding the flow options for GE’s gamma-resistant portfolio of materials. With the addition of this product, the company now offers gamma-stabilized Lexan resin grades with MFIs of 5, 7, 10, 17.5, and 25, giving processors greater manufacturing flexibility. The HPS4 resin shows no significant change in physical properties after exposure. It is designed to meet certain blood- care, surgical instrument, fluid-delivery, and enclosure and housing application requirements specific to the healthcare industry. Potential applications include blood filters, blood bowls, fluid-connection devices, syringe components, housings requiring sterilization, and surgical instruments.

Last, the Lexan 4404 resin is a clear, high-heat polycarbonate designed for use in devices exposed to multiple autoclave cycles. It is suitable for applications that may be exposed to up to 10 autoclave cycles at 134° C and offers improved dimensional stability over most common polycarbonate resins. Lexan 4404 resin is a potential fit for a variety of surgical instruments and healthcare support equipment, along with certain biopharmaceutical applications in which the use of autoclave sterilization is growing.

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Pressure and Thermoforming

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

Outsourcing Outlook

Pressure and Thermoforming

Manufacturer Expands Capabilities to Include Thermoformed 3-D Products

A company has expanded its polyurethane specialty product offerings and material processing capabilities through the use of a new thermoforming manufacturing process. Available products include thermoformed and RF-welded polyurethane film–based, low-pressure balloons, bladders, and other 3-D parts in wall thicknesses from 2 mil up to 20 mil or more. The manufacturer is equipped to produce low-pressure balloons that require a large body-to-neck diameter, as well as bladders and balloons that use two different film thicknesses or need inflation on only one side. Special 3-D parts such as long probes, balloons, and bladders for gastrointestinal or gynecology procedures can be thermoformed into any configuration or shape. Art-to-part development and delivery times may take as little as 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the complexity of the design. The company’s new headquarters include large laboratory and production facilities, enabling it to provide new and improved products and services to the medical device industry. Polyzen Inc., Apex, NC www.polyzen.com



Thermoformer Offers Painting, Screen-Printing, and Shielding Services

In-house hot-stamping, screen-printing, and other finishing services are offered by a thermoformer. The company’s engineering staff can recommend a painted finish that meets the customer’s needs and will prep, paint, and ship the product within hours after forming. Logos, model designations, and warnings can be screen-printed or hot-stamped onto products. An unlimited number of combinations of surface finishes and textures are available for highly cosmetic parts. The company is also a certified applicator of EMI/RFI shielding. Kintz Plastics Inc., Howes Cave, NY www.kintz.com




Mexican Thermoforming Facility Produces Packaging

Thermoforming of packaging materials such as trays, clamshells, and blisters is available from a company’s factory in Mexico. The facility manufactures trays to hold medical devices, as well as a variety of clamshells and blisters for retail packages. Materials used include PVC, PET, and high-impact polystyrene. Additional services include subassembly and full pack-out. The 15,000-sq-ft plant is ISO 9001:2000 certified. Roberson & Associates, Corona, CA www.devicelink.com/company98/r/r00084.html

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Pumps and Valves

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

SPOTLIGHT

Pumps and Valves

Syringe-pump components

Pumping modules are fully supported with software, electronic diagrams, and engineering phone support. This enables a designer to build prototypes or test pumping functions without sacrificing the quality of the pumping mechanism. The modular syringe-pump components come in three styles—microliter delivery, milliliter delivery, and high-force delivery. Harvard Bioscience Inc., Holliston, MA www.harvardapparatus.com



Swabbable luer valves

Swabbable luer valves were developed as substitutes for needle ports in IV applications. The needleless valves allow multiple usage, require no cap, and have good flow and low priming volume. Valve stems and bodies will mate securely with all standard luer syringes and luer connectors. All materials are gamma-resistant, USP Class VI, DEHP-free, and latex-free. The valves are available in both straight, Y-port, and vial adapter configurations. Bodies are available in polycarbonate or copolyester. Halkey-Roberts Corp., St. Petersburg, FL www.halkey-roberts.com



Peristaltic pumps

A line of peristaltic pumps have a NEMA 4¥ washdown sealed enclosure. The 520-series pumps are designed for accurate metering, dosing, and transferring of corrosive or sensitive fluids. The units provide low shear, contamination-free pumping, and predictable pump service intervals, which extend validation periods. The pump heads feature a large swept volume with low-friction stainless-steel rollers for superior accuracy. A large-diameter track and low rotational speeds ensure a long tube life and gentle handling of sensitive fluids. Watson-Marlow Bredel, Wilmington, MA www.watson-marlow.com


Ceramic, ruby, and sapphire components

High-precision pistons, valves, and other custom-made parts are available for high-pressure pumps, pipettes, and precision dispensers. Surfaces are highly polished to better than 1 µin. High-purity alumina and TZP zirconia are the most commonly used ceramics. HIP treatment is available on request for zirconia pistons. Typical applications include high-pressure pumps for analytical instruments and micropumping devices for the medical industry. Maret S.A., Bole, Switzerland www.maret.ch


Pressure regulators

A modular dovetail design enables regulators to be used individually or assembled into a modular combination of pneumatic components. Modular components include the manifold block, regulators, switches, and gauges. Dovetail push-in fittings are available in 1¼4, 3¼16, 5¼16, and 5¼32 in. and a variety of metric sizes. Standard threaded dovetails are available in 10-32 UNF, 1¼8-27 NPT, and 1¼4-18 NPT. Pressure regulators are available with adjustment ranges from 0.5 to 100 psi. The maximum supply pressure is 150 psi. Air Logic, Racine, WI www.air-logic.com


Clean valves

Bottom flush valves are designed for use on glass-lined reactors where batch-to-batch cleanliness is important. The self-draining valves allow for a variety of functions including sampling, gas dispersion, and maintenance without interrupting the process and without dismantling the valve. A glass-lined design ensures no metal contamination of the process fluid and enables use across a wide range of temperatures and pressures. The valve seat seals against the bottom outlet nozzle to prevent any collection or build-up of materials in the annular area between the valve seat and nozzle wall. An additional port with a 5° downward-sloping angle has been built into the valve to facilitate cleaning of the internal components and body. De Dietrich Process Systems, Union, NJ www.ddpsinc.com


Pressure valves

Valves prevent excess system pressure by bypassing total system fluid flow. The C46-series units contain no external springs or moving parts, are fully adjustable, and can be serviced without removing fittings or plumbing. The units are available with stainless- steel or brass bodies to suit various application needs. The design consists of a simple tapered plunger and valve seat. When excess pressure overcomes the adjustable spring pressure on the plunger, the plunger lifts off the seat, allowing fluid to bypass and reduce the pressure. The valves can handle flows up to 10 gpm and pressure to 1500 psi. Wanner Engineering Inc., Minneapolis, MN www.hydra-cell.com

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Motors and Motion Control Components

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

SPOTLIGHT

Motors and Motion Control Components

Zero-cog motors

A series of ironless core, brushless linear motors produce up to 26 lb of peak force and have an overall width of 18 mm. The LEU motors are offered in two heights—the LEU-15 measures 15 mm and the LEU-30 is 30 mm. Coil sizes of 35, 65, and 95 mm are available. They are supported by four magnet channels in lengths of 60, 90, 150, and 300 mm. An ironless core design provides ultrasmooth motion since there are no iron winding laminations to produce cogging. The small coil and magnet track footprint makes the unit readily adaptable for moving coil or magnet stage designs to reduce cable loading and wear.
Rockwell Automation, Anorad Brand, Shirley, NY www.anorad.com



Planetary gear reducer

A servo planetary gear reducer is designed for use with servomotors. The Able unit has a piloted modular input adaptor flange with an O-ring and compressible bushing, enabling mounting to any manufacturer’s servomotor. Three different backlash ratings are available. The product is grease lubricated for mounting in any position, is highly rigid, and IP64 rated. Shimpo Drives Inc., Itasca, IL www.shimpodrives.com


Stepper motor

A high-torque step motor has integrated electronics designed for durability and power. The true closed-loop system combines an ac 50-pole step motor, motion controller, drive amplifier, and feedback encoder in one package. ServoStep delivers continuous torque capability of up to 1000 oz-in., and a nominal speed of 2200 rpm. Motor protection includes software current limit, limit switch inputs, and built-in thermal protection. The unit uses standard NEMA mounts with an RS 485 port. Animatics Corp., Santa Clara, CA www.animatics.com


Motion controller and networks

A motion controller uses a 466 MHz Motorola PowerPC processor for optimum flexibility and speed. The ZMP line features a 10 ¥ increase in processing power over the company’s earlier XMP version. The company’s SynqNet motion control networks provide a 100 Mbps synchronous real-time connection between motion controllers and torque drives, stepper drives, and input and output modules. The network also offers fault tolerance, real-time node data collection, firmware downloads, and wide vendor servo interoperability. Motion Engineering, Santa Barbara, CA www.motioneng.com


Compact actuator

A high-speed actuator is available in sizes of 20 and 26 mm. The SKR actuator has positioning accuracies of 0.020 mm, overall rail lengths from 159 to 370 mm, and stroke ranges of 41.5 to 69 to 141.5 to 219 mm. Engineered into the SKR is the company’s caged technology, which employs a synthetic resin cage with a patented curvature that cradle each ball and separates it from the next. The spaces between the rolling elements retain grease and act as a lubrication system for long-term, maintenance-free operation. THK America Inc., Schaumburg, IL www.thk.com




Motor technology


A compact motor technology combines a high-torque stepping motor with onboard electronics. MDrives are currently available with NEMA motor sizes 14, 17, 23, and 34, in a choice of stack lengths. Versions include microstepping, speed control with oscillator, and motion control with indexer. Encoder, linear actuator, planetary gearbox, and a rear knob for manual control are options for the units. Intelligent Motion Systems Inc., Marlborough, CT www.imshome.com

Integrated-drive dc motors

An addition to a company’s motor line expands the dynamic speed ratio to cover 70 to 3450 rpm. The BL58-EB adds bidirectional active braking capability. The unit measures 68 mm in diam, and 62 mm in length, and is rated at 35 W power output. The company says its service life is extremely long because of its rugged bearing system and the absence of brushes. Premotec BV, Dordrect, Netherlands www.premotec.com


Brushless dc motors

Miniature brushless dc motors have integral speed control for use in a variety of medical applications. The 12 V dc LB16 produces 0.28 oz-in. of torque at 9500 rpm, with a continuous load range of 0 to 0.71 oz-in. A peak torque of 0.71 oz-in. at 0.8 A is available for start-up conditions. For variable-speed applications, the input voltage can be varied from 3.5 to 13.2 V dc. The motor measures 16 mm in diam, and 21 mm in length. The output shaft is 1.5 mm diam and 12 mm long. It weighs less than an ounce and the noise signature is 45 dba as measured 1 ft from the case. Nidec Copal USA Corp., Torrance, CA www.copal-usa.com


Gearmotor

A brushless dc gear motor offers extended life, high efficiency, and provides up to 300 in./lb of output torque over a variable speed range of 1 to 30 rpm. The heavy-duty gearbox is combined with a 2.25 in. double ball-bearing brushless motor that features ultraquiet operation and provides all the benefits of brush-type motors, without the limitations of brushes and commutators. Optional features include customized output shafts, integral controls, programmable dynamic braking for back drive resistance, various mounting options, and custom speed profiles. Merkle-Korff Industries Inc., Des Plaines, IL www.merkle-korff.com/index.asp


Commutation encoder

A compact optical encoder combines two- and three-phase brushless motor commutation pulses and incremental position feedback. The low-profile RCML15 has a frequency response reaching 300 KHz. A built-in servo groove allows ±20 degrees of rotation of the encoder to align the commutation tracks with the motor poles. The unit features a patented slide and gap mechanism for ease of installation and maximum performance. It is available in a wide selection of resolutions up to 2048 lines and provides commutation for 4, 6, or 8-pole brushless motors. Renco Encoders Inc., Goleta, CA www.renco.com

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Service Provides Process Improvement for OEMs

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

PROFILE

Service Provides Process Improvement for OEMs

Process problems can be solved quickly

Joyce Laird

This graph shows output results for a process that was optimized for W.L. Gore & Associates Medical Products Div (click to enlarge).

Processing problems are often a challenge for medical device manufacturers. How does one improve a process that is essentially frozen as is by product and process compliance restrictions?

W.L. Gore & Associate’s Medical Products Div. (Flagstaff, AZ; www.goremedical.com) faced this situation recently with one of its emerging implantable devices. The product had been an underperformer, in terms of production yield, from its inception. The company tried all the obvious remedies, but yield performance remained less than adequate.

This is when it called InSite Technologies Inc. (North East, MD; www.insitetechnologies.net) for help. InSite is a consulting firm that specializes in fast problem-process solutions. The company offers an approach to production floor experimentation and monitoring called SWAT process improvement tactics. An analysis using SWAT provides rapid gains in knowledge through the concurrent use of large-scale, statistically designed experiments and a process-monitoring regimen.

To solve Gore’s specific problem, InSite first assembled a cross-functional group of employee process experts made up of operators, engineers, supervisors, maintenance technicians, and scientists. Within three hours, InSite helped the team identify 187 blue-sky ideas to improve production yield.

Over the next day, the team reviewed each of these ideas for practicality and cost feasibility. Twenty-one of them were deemed immediately doable on goods available for shipment. All the ideas cost nothing to test and implement, and were within required product and process specifications.

The potential solutions involved slight changes in tensions, diameters, thicknesses, strengths, widths, targets, speeds, positions, and temperatures. Basically, any parameter that could vary while remaining within regulated operating conditions was tested. For example, the team asked might wire diameter matter? Or more accurately, might differences in wire diameter, allowed within the specification, impact yield? If so, would higher be better, and by how much?

As part of the SWAT process, a statistically based experiment was designed to accommodate these 21 ideas. This called for the running of 48 unique combinations or process recipes that would enable yield performance to be predicted for more than 2 million combinations of these variable conditions. This included learning about 210 two-factor interactions as well. A two-factor interaction occurs when the influence a process input has on a process output is dependent on the setting of another input.

Over the next few weeks, InSite oversaw and monitored hundreds of devices produced under the 48 experimental combinations. All of the units were production-worthy articles, but they were also performing double duty as “experimental units.” Yield during this time was higher on two subassemblies but slightly lower overall. Shipping volumes were comparable to those normally achieved.

Once combinations were complete, InSite conducted statistical analyses to determine the best recipe among the two million plus recipes studied. This was done for process yield as well as 19 other measures of product and process performance.

InSite’s newly uncovered Best Recipe was forecast to provide a double-digit yield increase. This was driven primarily by three readily implementable changes to Gore’s standard operating procedure. The changes involved included using only the high end of the allowable range for a particular raw material attribute, using a lower target value in a certain processing step, and using a slightly slower equipment speed setting.

“Large factor quantities and large sample sizes provide the keys to unlocking actionable information from processes such as this,” says Ron Fritz, PhD, founder of InSite Technologies Inc. “They provide the comprehensiveness and statistical power to discern cause from coincidence with such small differences in tested settings.”

InSite’s prescribed best recipe was immediately implemented and provided the forecasted double-digit increase in performance. The increase has been sustained for a year now, and demonstrates what access to intimate process knowledge can do for frozen-as-is processes so common in the medical device industry.

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Technical Resource for Custom Manufacturing Services Aids in Design

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

E-News

Technical Resource for Custom Manufacturing Services Aids in Design

www.kurt.com (click to go to site)
Analee Zelaya

Kurt Manufacturing Co. (Minneapolis), a supplier of close-tolerance parts and assemblies, launched a Web site that serves as a resource for the design and integrated manufacturing industries. Users will receive technical information that enables them to manufacture and produce parts to specific standards. Areas covered include precision machining, aluminum die casting, assembly, and other custom manufacturing services and facilities.

Design engineers can use the available information to help them determine the type of materials to be used in different situations. Photographs covering a variety of parts programs also are provided.

The Linden Group Corp.
56 A Fanny Rd.
Boonton, NJ 07005
973/299-0009 (P)
973/335-5275 (F)
www.tlgc.com

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Configurator Builds Connectors On-Line

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

E-News

Configurator Builds Connectors On-Line

www.aldenproducts.com (click to go to site)
Analee Zelaya

Alden Products Co. (Brockton, MA) redesigned its Web site, allowing connectors to be customized with a new configurator. The tool, which was developed by Psynchronous Communications (Woburn, MA), enables users to specify the products and part numbers they need to create a connector, with the aid of intuitive menus. The renovated site also reflects the firm’s new branding.

“The goal of this renovation was not just to create a better looking [site],” says Alden’s vice president of business development, Chris Behning. “It was absolutely critical to us that we created the best, easiest, and most comprehensive means of availing our wide array of Pulse-Lok connectors to end-users.”

Those products include circular-instrumentation and high-voltage connectors as well as integrated cable and connector assemblies that can be found by product line, application, or design with the site’s navigation feature. Users can print data sheets and request part samples and price quotes with on-line forms. Company information also can be accessed, and Alden will monitor site usage to better understand the needs of its customers.


Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

My Favorite Bookmarks

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

E-News

My Favorite Bookmarks

Matt Horton
Matt Horton, CEO
Stork Twin City Testing
The Polymer Science Macrogalleria, University of Southern Mississippi (www.psrc.usm.edu/macrog/index.htm) explains polymers in understandable terms. If you don’t understand polymers before you work your way through this five-level on-line curriculum, then you will afterward. Designed for students, it’s a great organic chemistry refresher for anyone, and you can start browsing at any level.

The Finishing Industry (www.finishing.com) offers a useful Web site that started as a metal finishing BBS in 1989. The main feature I use is an interactive forum for technical questions—one for input from all users, another for commercial advice from businesses. The topics are infinite; I’ve found information I needed on subjects ranging from corrosion to plating to embrittlement.

The Nickel Institute (www.nidi.org) is an offshoot of the Nickel Development Institute. Not only will the site tell you everything you ever wanted to know about nickel and nickel alloys, but it also has an extremely generous policy for printed and downloadable publications, with more than 375 papers available at no charge. This site is an invaluable resource for engineers who work in metal.

Our materials scientists frequently consult a Web site called MatWeb (www.matweb.com). It has a huge library of material data sheets containing property information and a search engine that lets you search by composition, material type, trade name, manufacturer, and metric and U.S. properties. We sometimes use it to quickly confirm data or to review an unfamiliar material.

We do quite a few trade shows over the year. Skyline Graphics (www.skyline-exhibits.com) supplies and maintains our booth equipment, and its site is a great source of trade show tips, calculators, logistics, and lead management ideas in downloadable PDFs. Like the Nickel Institute, it will mail out printed booklets free of charge, and it also has a free newsletter that our marketing staff find very useful.

Stork Twin City Testing (St. Paul, MN; www.storksmt.com/tct) is part of the Stork Materials Technology group, a network of 21 independent labs across North America and Europe. Stork TCT provides the medical device industry with product, materials, metallurgical, nondestructive, and construction testing, inspection, and engineering.

Corinne Litchfield

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

IN BRIEF

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

INDUSTRY NEWS

IN BRIEF

Xact Wire EDM (Waukesha, WI; www.xactedm.com) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year… Acme Cryogenics Inc. (Lehigh Valley, PA; www.acmecryo.com) has acquired Medical Gas Management (Bethany, OK; www.mgmusa.com)… Algor Inc. (Pittsburgh; www.algor.com) has announced a partnership with MatWeb (Christiansburg, VA; www.matweb.com), a provider of technical material data sheets and a division of Automation Creations Inc. (Blacksburg, VA; www.aciwebs.com)… Cambridge Consultants (Cambridge, UK; www.cambridgeconsultants.com) has opened its first U.S.-based office in Boston… Plexus Corp. (Neenah, WI; www.plexus.com) has announced a $10 million to $13 million restructuring program, which includes closing its Bothell, WA facility.

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Chlorine-Coated Bed Linens Ward Off Microbes

Originally Published MPMN November 2004

INDUSTRY NEWS

Chlorine-Coated Bed Linens Ward Off Microbes

Analee Zelaya

Each year patients in U.S. hospitals will acquire two million infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as that number continues growing, so do the costs to patients and healthcare facilities: Hospital infections kill 60,000 to 80,000 people a year, and more than $5 billion is added to U.S. healthcare costs as a direct result of nosocomial infections.

To curb the infectious pathogens, Medline Industries Inc. (Mundelein, IL; www.medline.com), a provider of textiles to the U.S. healthcare industry, has made available bed linens treated with HaloShield, a durable chlorine-based coating developed by Vanson HaloSource (Redmond, WA; www.vanson.com). “Sheets using this new technology may prove to be an important adjunct to a healthcare facility’s infection control practices,” says Dorothy Thompson, infection control coordinator for Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago.

HaloShield binds EPA-registered chlorine-based sanitizers to sheets and pillowcases, a technique that fosters an effective antimicrobial barrier for the lifetime of the bed linens. “It is well documented that soiled linens harbor microorganisms that can be transmitted to others,” says Gang Sun, PhD, a professor of textiles and clothing at the University of California, Davis, and a HaloShield developer. “In light of the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the use of HaloShield can be a major development in the battle against microbes that can spread infection.”

Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News