MD&M West attendees had an opportunity to check out a colorful new proof-of-concept drug delivery device made by Covestro (shown above).
The polymer company manufactured the device from its portfolio of medical-grade polycarbonate resins. The device uses discrete polycarbonates in each piece, simplifying the sorting and recycling process after disposal.
"In devices today, if you looked at a drug-delivery device, you would see quite an array of different materials and different polymers that aren't necessarily compatible together, if they were to be recycled together," Lauren Zetts, healthcare segment manager for Covestro’s Americas business, told MD+DI. "We're promoting the use of an all-polycarbonate device to have compatible materials to help support recycling."
The demonstrator device shown at MD&M West is designed to show potential customers how various polycarbonates and blends can be used, including Covestro's low-friction Makrolon polycarbonate, medical glass-filled Makrolon polycarbonate, high-flow medical Makrolon polycarbonate, and medical Bayblend PC+ABS. Each plays a significant role in creating a high-functioning and sustainable solution that can reduce medical waste and enhance patient comfort, according to Covestro.
“The healthcare industry is always looking for sustainable solutions and to reduce medical waste,” Zetts said. “This unit has concepts that innovate on multiple fronts, and we hope it inspires our counterparts in the medical device manufacturing community to take the innovation even further."
Covestro said its medical low-friction Makrolon polycarbonate is designed to improve consistency by allowing for smooth action inside the device, meaning that parts last longer and doses are easier to administer with less force.
“The way we see sustainability going is not only the selection of sustainable materials, but also sustainable design,” Douglas Hamilton, PhD, global healthcare segment leader for Covestro’s polycarbonates business unit, told MD+DI.
At MD&M West, Covestro also showcased its new Makrolon RE polycarbonate for healthcare, which was launched late last year. The company said the new polycarbonate grades are low carbon footprint due to the use of renewable electricity, as well as raw materials from mass-balanced bio-waste and residues.
"This is an important milestone toward our vision to be fully circular," said Lily Wang, head of engineering plastics at Covestro. "We're taking steps to help our customers meet their sustainability targets and accelerate the transformation to a fully circular future."