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technology | Medical

Right: Biorep Technologies simplified

production of this Ricordi chamber by switching to

Solvay’s Radel PPSU

Enhanced applications Pentracor, a German medical technology company, has developed an adsorber - PentraSorb CRP - for selective removal of C-reactive protein in extracorporeal apheresis (blood treatment). The adsorber casing is made of transparent, highly heat-resistant polycarbonate Apec 1745 from Covestro and is sterilised after filling. The material is suitable for high-pressure steam sterilisation and is mechanically highly robust. The casing is injection moulded and the parts are then joined together by ultrasonic welding, with filter elements also being integrated at the same time. In addition, Covestro has been

involved in the development of a three-way stopcock by Elcam Medical claimed to improve patient safety. The Elcam Marvelous stopcock includes a Luer-activated valve that acts as a barrier against bacteria and a novel inner channel that ensures self-flushing and minimised residual volume. Covestro has supplied Makrolon Rx1805 for the stopcock. The polycarbonate is highly transparent, has good chemical resistance and can be easily moulded. Due to its biocompatibility, it is extremely well-suited for medical technology applications that require contact with body fluids. The material can also be sterilised with radiation. Meanwhile, Solvay Specialty Polymers has supplied Radel R-5000 polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) to Biorep Technologies to develop an improved model of its Ricordi chamber, which is used to isolate healthy pancreatic tissue cells for clinical transplants. The biocompatible polymer replaces polyetherimide (PEI) as the chamber material to deliver good mouldability, higher transparency and improved resistance to repeated steam sterilisation. “Originally produced out of machined stainless steel,

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Dr Ricordi’s chamber immediately became an emblem of state-of-the-art medical innovation,” says Felipe Echeverri, Managing Director at Biorep Technologies. “While our decision to injection mould the chamber from PEI signalled an important step in the chamber’s evolution, the shift to Radel R-5000 PPSU enables entirely new design options for replacing the chamber’s metal fittings and improving its overall performance, functionality and reliability.” The company was prompted to look for an alterna- tive to PEI due to shortages. Radel PPSU delivers similar or better performance. It also offers comparatively higher flow to allow fabrication of finer features. Specifically, it enabled Biorep to eliminate three

stainless steel fittings on the top and bottom of its design by integrating

the features into the moulded part of the polymer chamber. In addition to saving time and money, this eliminated the risk of cracked parts caused by the disparate rate of thermal expansion between steel

and polymer.

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