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Plastic or Elastic: Polymer Dynamics in MedTech Devices

A polymer can act rubbery or glassy depending on its temperature or rate of deformation, such as from an impact. This is important for medtech devices that are stored at low temperature, vibrate, or are required to pass drop testing. In general, the quicker the polymer is impacted, the more brittle it acts and the […]

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Barrier properties in plastics: Does your product pass gas?

Polymers are more alive than you may realize. There are molecules within them that wiggle, others that move from here to there, and finally some that permeate all the way through. Polymer properties change as all this motion is occurring. When this is not understood or anticipated, products fail. The good news is that if […]

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Many product recalls stem from predictable material issues

Choosing materials for a new medical device or consumer product is not a trivial task; without proper care, costly late-stage issues can derail an entire program. Material failures for medical devices, for example, are common and costly; 30-40% of FDA recalls are due to material issues.1 These issues may include compatibility of the fluid formulation […]

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Long-term Polymer Properties – Don’t Be Creepy, Just Relax the Stress Away

Polymers undergo creep and stress relaxation over long periods of time, which can be detrimental to the function of medtech products. When designing medical devices that contain polymers, it is important to understand the differences, similarities, testing, and mitigation strategies of the two phenomena. The major difference between creep and stress relaxation is the way […]

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Polymer Chemical Resistance – Product Survival Through Harsh Liquid Contact and Sterilization

Polymer properties can permanently change as they age, which can lead to unexpected failures. These failures can be avoided by considering the polymer’s response to the environment during early product design. Liquids, gases, heat, and irradiation can have irreversible chemical effects on a polymer. Alternatively, in some cases the polymer can affect the liquid’s properties. […]

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