Medical & Health

Modern healthcare would be impossible without plastics medical products we tend to take for granted: disposable syringes, intravenous blood bags and heart valves, etc. Plastics packaging is particularly suitable for medical applications, thanks to their exceptional barrier properties, light weight, low cost, durability, transparency and compatibility with other materials.

People are living better, longer and have increasingly fulfilling lives. Thanks to the endless versatility of modern plastics, medical breakthroughs considered unthinkable 50 years ago are now regarded as commonplace.

Some applications

Unblocking blood vessels: In the latest heart surgery, thin tubes (catheters) are used to unblock blood vessels, while deposits obstructing them can be broken down with a tiny spiral-shaped implant - a vessel support. Positioned in the treated artery, it is made of a plastic developed specifically for the medical field and charged with active substances.

Prosthesis: Plastics are now being used as orthopaedic devices, where they align, support or correct deformities. they can even improve the function of movable parts of the body or replace a body part, taking over its main function. Synthetic material also plays a vital role for diseased arteries that cannot be helped via vessel support. An affected section of the aorta is removed and the gap is bridged by a flexible plastic prosthesis. Thanks to this, the body's lifeline becomes fully functional again.

Artificial corneas: Eye injuries or chronic inflammations, for example corneal erosion, can impair sight, and if a transplant has little chance of success, a prosthesis is the only hope. Artificial corneas made from special silicone are now available for treatment. Only 0.3 to 0.5 millimetres thick, highly transparent, flexible and made of bio-mechanics similar to a natural cornea, it can restore clear vision again.

Hearing aids: People with severely impaired hearing can now have a plastics implant that brings sound back in thier hears. This implant consists of numerous components - a microphone, a transmission device connected to a micro-computer worn on the body, a stimulator and an electrode carrier with 16 electrodes for 16 different frequency ranges. As it transforms acoustic impulses into electrical ones, it bypasses the damaged cells and stimulates the auditory nerve directly.

Plastics pill capsules release exactly the right dosage of its active ingredients at the right time. The tartaric acid-based polymer gradually breaks down, slowly releasing the active ingredients over a longer period of time. These tailor-made pharmaceuticals help to avoid having to frequently take large quantities of pills.

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