Cleveland, Ohio - New formulations for synthetic biochemically absorbable TPUs (thermoplastic polyurethanes) from Lubrizol LifeScience Polymers are helping doctors to tailor wound healing, for example.
Bioabsorbable polymers are ones that dissolve into compounds the body can safely absorb or eliminate. Lubrizol notes that such absorbability is useful in a wide variety of applications, as it enables the safe internal use of medical devices, woundcare implements and drug-delivery systems, without requiring removal.
"Lubrizol's bioabsorbable technology provides medical device manufacturers with unprecedented levels of design flexibility," said Eric Rohr, global business manager of Lubrizol LifeScience Polymers, in a company statement.
According to Lubrizol, bioabsorbable TPUs "are truly tunable." The company says this new polymer technology creates the opportunity to engineer innovative products with customisable physical properties - strength, rigidity and abrasion resistance - while allowing tailored rates of degradation.
This tunability means the bioabsorbable TPUs overcome the strength and longevity challenges that have prevented the widespread use of existing bioabsorbable materials in some applications, Lubrizol notes.
"Because these polymers are tunable, manufacturers will find that Lubrizol can provide high-performing solutions that meet their needs," Rohr added.
Bioabsorbable polymers are used for operative assistance, damage healing and drug release, and this new development means they are set to become "valuable tools in orthopaedic treatments, wound care and tissue engineering," Lubrizol predicts.
Lubrizol featured the new bioabsorbable polymers this week at the 2013 Medical Design & Manufacturing West Conference in Anaheim, California, 12-14 Feb.