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What are biocompatible materials?

Biocompatible materials are called biomaterials. The term biocompatibility is mainly applied to medical materials in direct, brief or prolonged contact with internal body tissues and fluids such as probes, syringes, prostheses, tubes, implants, etc.

At OSF we use biocompatible thermoplastics and medical grade silicones, in addition to ISO 7 Clean Room conditions, to ensure that the manufactured parts are free of contaminants.

To ensure compliance with biocompatibility, we work with leading raw material suppliers in the medical sector, ensuring that they meet the requirements of ISO 10993 for biological qualification, through the required tests that guarantee that the products are sufficiently inert in contact with blood and tissue.

Medical grade silicone / Biocompatible silicone

It is characterized by its biocompatibility, i.e. its ability to cause no adverse reactions in the human body. 

This makes it a highly demanded material in the medical sector

In addition, it is resistant to moisture, high temperatures and UV rays, which makes it suitable for use in outdoor environments.

Biocompatible silicones for medical use are classified according to product requirements:

  • Non-implantable, for external use, as prostheses.
  • Short-term implantable, very common in the dental industry.
  • Long-term implantable, for long-term implants.

 Biocompatible thermoplastics

The growing use of thermoplastics has transformed the market in the health sector, as they replace other materials such as glass, metals or ceramics.

The types of biocompatible thermoplastics used are:

  • Thermoplastics: plastic polymers that soften with heat, mould and harden on cooling.
  • Thermosets: plastic polymers that become solid when moulded and cannot be recovered.
  • Elastomers: elastic polymers that can recover their shape and size when stretched.

The most used thermoplastics are Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polyamide (PA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC).

The advantages of using plastics in the healthcare industry are as follows:

  • Versatility, they allow moulding into different shapes.
  • Easy sterilisation, most medical grade plastics are sterilisable.
  • Infection resistant, there are plastic materials whose surface has antimicrobial properties to repel any bacteria (99% reduction).
  • Environmentally friendly, most medical thermoplastics are recyclable.

At OSF together with our suppliers we help select the most suitable material for the required application. 

Ensuring we meet the necessary compliance requirements that a sector as strict as the medical sector demands.