The use of plastic materials in the medical field is constantly increasing and is estimated to reach 4 billion Dollars in two years in the US alone.
The need to reduce healthcare cost and use of a disposable medical supplies are important factors generating a higher demand of medical plastics.
New materials, with improved properties are developed in order to satisfy the requirements of infection control standards.
New studies and tests are conducted to determine the biological reactivity of polymeric materials.
Currently, plastics are graded on a scale of Class I to Class VI. Plastics not requiring implantation testing are graded Class I, II, III, or V
and those plastics requiring implantation testing are graded Class IV or VI.
Guidance for the use of plastics in the manufacture of medical devices not being provided in the past,
the medical device industry has primarily used Class VI plastics.
Packaging of medical products, tubes and pharmaceutical closures are also applications for plastic materials.
The high impact and chemical resistance as well as excellent resistance to steam exposure of some materials
(like polyphenylsulfone) is making them a strong choice for products that need to be sterilized.