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Jwell extrusion machinery:Medical grade TPU product properties and applications

March 15,2023

TPUis widely used in the biomedical field due to its excellent biocompatibility and mechanical properties. Its use in the medical field has become diverse, with major products such as artificial heart assist devices, artificial blood vessels and artificial skin. Medical TPU is widely used in the medical field because of its flexibility, wear resistance, high compatibility, no deformation, no allergic reaction, good blood compatibility and does not affect the blood composition.

With the progress and development of society, polymer materials represented byPVCand TPU have become the most commonly used biomedical materials, while the application of polymer materials in in-vitro diagnostic devices is becoming more and more important.

Artificial heart assist device

The artificial heart assist device has very stringent requirements for its properties and the materials used to make it, because of its critical location, not to damage blood cell components, not to produce toxins or allergic reactions, not to cause harmful immune reactions, not to release electrolytes and not to damage adjacent tissues. Clinical trials tell us that TPU has many performance advantages over natural rubber and silicone, such as blood compatibility and durability.

Medical catheters

TPU is also often used for the preparation of medical catheters, such as infusion tubes and artificial catheters, due to its mechanical stability, biocompatibility and elasticity. The gastroscope tube, an important component of an optical fibre gastroscope, has to be flexible and pliable and non-toxic, with a uniform diameter and no bending or distortion. TPU gastroscopy tubing meets these requirements and medical requirements.

The TPU tracheal tube is light and flexible, easy to use clinically, comfortable for the patient to move around, prevents radiation damage to the human body, facilitates treatment and diagnosis, can replace the metal tracheal tube and is one of the more advanced medical devices in the world.

Medical films

Traditional PE and PVC films have the advantage of being waterproof and resistant to liquid exudation. They are very popular for medical protection such as wound dressings and surgical procedures, but it has the drawback of not being able to drain sweat produced by the body’s metabolism in a timely manner, leading to discomfort such as heat, cold and wetness. There is therefore an urgent need for a new type of medical film to replace such products.

Polyurethane elastomer medical films are made by spraying pressure-sensitive adhesives on the surface of polyurethane elastomer films. Compared to traditional PE and PVC medical films, TPU body medical films are light and soft, have good skin affinity, are highly elastic, are moisture permeable and are 100% waterproof, which effectively prevents the film from falling off during surgery. It inhibits the transfer of various germs during surgery. Such as orthopaedic surgery, heart valve replacement, intravenous needle placement, abdominal and thoracic intubation, treatment of spinal fluid shunt surgery, etc., can significantly reduce the infection rate.

There is also a waterproof and antibacterial medical polyurethane elastomer, made of medical protective gloves with good mechanical properties, waterproof and breathable, able to resist Gram-positive and negative bacteria.

Medical synthetic skin

Synthetic skins can be made from TPU foam, which has excellent breathability due to its properties and also accelerates the growth of the epidermis, avoiding the loss of moisture and inorganic salts at the site of injury and also avoiding bacterial infections. Natural latex is often used to make medical gloves, but for some users, they may have an allergic reaction to latex. Polyurethane elastomers, however, can be adapted to the molecular structure of medical gloves and can therefore be used as a new material for medical gloves instead of natural latex.

Compared to MDI-based TPU, gloves made from polyurethane elastomers have many advantages, such as being less prone to ageing, less prone to discolouration after a period of time, less prone to allergic reactions and closer to the skin than traditional latex gloves.

Other areas

TPU has already had some success in the medical field in China, such as the successful development of shape memory polyurethane elastomers, and with body temperature shape memory polyurethane elastomers, thermoplastic polyurethane film composite textiles can be used to produce anti-allergy gloves and band-aids. Under mild reaction conditions, amphoteric biodegradable medical polyurethane elastomers are prepared.

In addition, good results have been achieved in prosthetics, cartilage, separation membranes, medical sutures and family planning products.

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