The Best Materials Used In Medicine
The Best Materials Used in Medicine
Prototyping is essential to the development and commercialization of medicals devices. Different medical prototypes have different requirements for materials. As a manufacturer of rigid equipment used in medical products or healthcare environments, it is important not only to carefull about materials you select for prototyping, but also to iterate varieties of prototypes for R&D and testing in order to achieve safe and practical performance.This article will discuss the best materials you can choose in as much detail as possible in the hope that it will help your prototyping.
Metals are often used when materials with greater strength and durability are required. Of course, in addition to their pure mechanical performance, metals used in healthcare environment must meet certain standards that most other products do not. For example, they need to be harmless to human tissues and resistant to chemicals used for cleaning. The following author will list several qualified metals and metal alloys.
Copper has excellent antiviral and antimicrobial performance.The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA)has approved more than 400 different copper alloys to have bactericidal performance that can prevent the spread of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Therefore , copper is an ideal material for making door handles, bed rails and other objects that are often touched.
Because magnesium is highly reactive when exposed to oxygen or other liquids, it is not suitable to use in medical devices or household appliances without prior treatment. But it has excellent weight strength and biological safety (for example, it can be biodegraded naturally and safely), so magnesium can be used to make heart stents and bone grafts.
Stainless steel has become an ideal material for many medical devices due to its non-toxic, non-corrosive, durable and easy to clean performance.
The most common types of stainless steel used for medical implants and body piercings are 316 and 316L, both of which offer high corrosion resistance. Corrosion in the blood can cause infections and even death, so this feature of stainless steel is particularly important.
This grade of stainless steel is commonly used for surgical tools，such as forceps for surgical instruments, hemostatic forceps, etc. It is also used for Orthopedics, such as stabilize broken bones with screws and plates.
Titanium is as strong and durable as stainless steel. Titanium is now a common substitute for stainless steel because it is lighter and has excellent biocompatibility compared to stainless steel, and can be used for bone support and bone substitutes. Titanium alloys are also well suited as dental implants, and 3D-printed titanium implants are one of the most important and cutting-edge applications of AM in medicine. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 3D printers can make implants into complex and lightweight shapes to promote bone growth on the implant. In addition to implants, 3D printing to create titanium prostheses is also an ideal option.
ABS has good impact resistance, chemical resistance, radiation resistance and ethylene oxide disinfection resistance. The medical application of ABS is mainly used for surgical tools such as roller clamps, plastic needles, tool boxes, diagnostic devices, hearing aid housings,and the shell of large-scale medical equipment.ABS prts can be CNC machined or 3D printed.
PC has good high temperature resistance, creep resistance, sterilization and meet the advantages of biocompatibility, it is very suitable for transparent medical components, such as microfluidic equipment, dental instruments, drug containers, kidney dialysis equipment, etc. Medical grade plastic used as CNC machined parts or in pellet form for injection molding. Materials with similar performance to PC include PEEK, PEI, PPSU and acetal.
Nylon has higher mechanical strength and a better skin-friendly feel than ordinary materials, so it can be used to make foot drop orthopedic devices, rehabilitation wheelchairs and medical care beds that need to support the load. Nylon is tough and heat resistant, it is not as easy to process as ABS, but the modified nylon has good dimensional stability, high temperature resistance, and it is easy to process and demold.
Acrylic is actually one of the earliest medical device plastics, and is still commonly used in the molding of anaplastic restorations. Acrylic is strong, clear texture, easy to process and bond. Acrylic has various shapes and colors such as rods, sheets and plates, so it is particularly suitable for light pipes and optical applications. However, commercial-grade acrylic resin may contain anti-ultraviolet, anti-flame retardant, impact modifier and other chemical properties, which may make it unsuitable for clinical use. For the sake of safety, it is necessary to determine the medical grade version before using it in any clinical trials.
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