By Frank Esposito, Plastics News staff
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Miles can separate the way a new product is expected to be used and how it's actually used.
Take the case of the Xtensor, a medical device developed by Clinically Fit Inc. of Melville, New York. The device is made up of a wrist wrap, a palm support, five adjustable finger bands and a back hand strap of Texin-brand thermoplastic polyurethane, a material made by Bayer MaterialScience llc of Pittsburgh.
The Xtensor was aimed at providing rehabilitation from corrective surgery or trauma, as well as preventing repetitive-stress injuries or tendonitis. But since being commercialized in May, the product has found a home with video gamers, golfers, tennis players, surgeons, dentists and computer users - all of whom are benefiting from the Xtensor's ability to strengthen extensor muscles, tendons and finger joints.
Makers of the Xtensor - which is described as a "therapeutic conditioning device" - chose the Bayer TPU because of its excellent slip resistance and comfortable support, officials said in a news release. The TPU used in the Xtensor is an unmodified TPU that's then coloured either blue or yellow, said Bayer medical market representative Rachel Nolan in an e-mail. Bayer's plant in New Martinsville, West Virginia, makes the TPU used in the product.
"We needed something sturdy, yet flexible," said Scott Kupferman, Clinically Fit's chief executive officer, in the release. Kupferman added Texin TPU "is surprisingly comfortable to the touch."
Other medical uses for Texin include catheters, connectors, device housings and film applications. Nolan said the material also is used in various sporting applications like shoe air bladders, cleats, ski equipment, surfing equipment and golf balls.
In addition, the material offers excellent wear and mar resistance, chemical resistance and microbe resistance, Nolan said. Bayer also makes Texin grades that meet Food and Drug Administration food-contact, NSF potable-water contact or ISO biocompatibility standards.