Leading supplier of specialty polymers, Solvay has announced that multiple of its medical grade polymers, enabled medical device pioneer, Shanghai Reach Medical Instrument Company, to develop a lighter, more ergonomic and highly cost-effective kit of reusable instruments for spinal surgeries.
Shanghai Reach’s kit includes six reusable medical instruments. Typically, many of the parts would be made from stainless steel but the company wished to reduce instrument weight by up to 70%.
Using the polymers meant that Shanghai Reach didn’t have to compromise on mechanical or sterilisation properties. In addition to lightweight strength and stiffness, Solvay’s two biocompatible polymers offer strong resistance to fatigue and are compatible with sterilisation methods based on stringent chemicals, steam and even gamma radiation.
A plastic game changer
Xiamin Huang, general manager of Shanghai Reach said: “For decades, metal was the material of choice for medical instruments because conventional plastics could not deliver metal’s combination of high modulus, strong chemical resistance and compatibility with stringent sterilisation methods.
“Today, Solvay’s broad range of specialty polymers is changing that reality – not only by offering metal-like performance, but by also enabling the fabrication of more complex and integrated parts through cost-effective injection moulding.”
Jeff Hrivnak, global business development manager for healthcare at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers Business Unit said: “Shanghai Reach’s innovative new kit highlights the ground-breaking value that Solvay’s advanced polymers are injecting into a healthcare market once dominated by metal.
“We expect this trend to continue as we team with industry pioneers like Shanghai Reach to explore new possibilities for replacing metal medical instruments with more cost-effective, ergonomic instruments made from high-performance polymers.”