Biomedical Sector

Extruded yarns and fibres for biomedical use

Although FET serves the needs of many quality fibre manufactures, a particular speciality is the sector which produces high value textile materials for medical device applications. Our experience enables our customers to produce high quality fibres and yarns to the appropriate regulatory standards.

Specifically FET has developed unique melt spinning and melt blown technology for use with resorbable polymers. The main polymers used are PGA, PLLA and their copolymers and also others such as PDO, PHA, p(G-TMC), PCL. Conventional melt blowing equipment is not appropriate for processing biomedical grade resorbable polymers.

Challenges related to processing resorbable polymers

Processing resorbable polymers is challenging and requires special equipment design and process conditions. FET has successfully addressed these factors and is able to provide solutions for working with resorbable polymers.

There are many processing challenges related to resorbable polymers and they are very susceptible to degradation. This propensity to degrade can be thermal, shear or hydrolytic related. It is especially acute at the elevated temperatures needed when melt spinning.

The slow rate of crystallisation which some of the polymers exhibit represent another challenge and must be taken into account to be able to produce materials of the correct mechanical properties. Furthermore demanding fibre properties take the polymer to its limit of process capability.

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Resorbable biomedical fibres

FET can melt spin numerous material formats from resorbable polymers:

  • Multifilament and Monofilaments.
  • Non-woven structures.
  • Bi-Component filaments.
  • Hollow filaments.

 

These formats allow for the development and manufacture of numerous implantable devices. The material format is selected for the job in hand, for example, high strength continuous multifilament for braided synthetic absorbable sutures, monofilaments for surgical meshes, non-woven materials for tissue support.

Polymer selection determines both mechanical properties and rate of absorption. This versatility in both format and polymer selection is a powerful tool for the developer of medical devices. However an overriding factor is that to be useful the materials must have specific and exact mechanical properties.

FET and the biomedical market

FET has a world leading reputation for providing melt spinning and melt blown technology to medical device manufacturers. FET’s equipment is used extensively in the production of resorbable implantable devices.

For more details about melt spinning technology for multifilament and monofilament, please contact us for advice.

 

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Applications for resorbable fibres and non-wovens

Resorbable non-woven and extruded fibres and yarns are well proven in the biomedical sector and carry a wide range of benefits:

  • Temporary support for tissue regeneration
  • Temporary mechanical reinforcement.
  • Combined with other materials to achieve broader functionality

 

In particular, the following lead applications havebeen identified for extrusion equipment and machinery:

  • Synthetic absorbable sutures
  • Hernia repair patches
  • Staple reinforcement buttress
  • Periodontal & gingival repair
  • Adhesion barriers
  • Tendon & ligament repair
  • Skin substitutes (burns dressings & cosmetic surgery)
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