Industry Collaborations and Next-Generation Materials Highlighted by Eastman at MD&M West

Eastman’s collaboration with Clemson University includes leading manufacturer of disposable medical devices and innovative medical thermoformer.

At this year’s MD&M West, Eastman Chemical highlighted both industry collaborations and new developments in materials for both medical devices and their packaging, including work with Clemson University’s Capstone Project and medical technology OEM Mindray.

● Clemson University: As part of its ongoing collaboration with the Packaging Science degree program, Eastman works with co-sponsors Remington Medical, a leading producer of disposable medical devices, and TekPak, an innovative medical thermoformer, to help students develop prototypes of rigid medical packaging for hip implants and to learn critical elements of the validation protocol.

The student team in Robert Kimmel’s Package Design and Development course worked with extruded polyester sheet made of Eastar 6763 copolyester provided by Pacur, while getting hands-on guidance from Eastman and the co-sponsors. The overall experience allowed the students to get a preview of a career in the medical device industry as a packaging engineer. Students also worked with Tritan MP100 copolyester and Eastalite copolyester.

● Mindray: Eastman officials say the company continues to evolve in  how it works with OEMs to bring innovations to market. One example is Mindray, which has selected Eastman's medical polymers for its patient monitors, on the basis that the material would make the devices easy to disinfect and able to withstand today’s changing cleaning protocols. Mindray's product selection was a result of independently replicating Eastman's testing protocols, for example, its 4-step test, to validate performance data. The OEM opted to use medical-grade disinfectant-ready copolyesters from Eastman’s MXF portfolio of flame-resistant polymers.

Meanwhile, Eastman is expanding its portfolio of medical polymers, working with OEMs to identify the attributes needed for specific product requirements and processing characteristics that improve manufacturability. Eastman Tritan copolyester and its portfolio of flame retardant polymers for electronic medical device housings and hardware reportedly offer high chemical compatibility with a wide range of disinfectants used to combat HAIs as well as improved durability and impact strength.

In addition to Eastman MXF221 for device housings and Tritan copolyesters for devices and packaging, Eastman also offers Eastar copolyester 6763 and Eastalite copolyesters for rigid medical packaging, Ecdel elastomers for pharmaceutical packaging and Eastman 168 non-phthalate plasticizer.

At this year’s show, Eastman invited attendees to learn more about these and other product advancements at Lunch and Learn events in rigid medical packaging and medical devices, along with two sessions on the MD&M West conference program: Choosing the Right Polymers for Manufacturability and Durability: What Hospitals Measure and one on additive manufacturing for medical device development and production, titled Thermoplastic Elastomer Powder and its Benefits in Printing Medical Devices