MEDICAL-GRADE MATERIALS - THE FABRIC OF THE FUTURE
the last few years, much of the innovation in the medical device industry has
been fueled by advancements in fiber and other textile technologies
specifically designed for use inside the human body. These medical textile
breakthroughs have supported a broad array of implantable devices ranging from
vascular grafts and surgical mesh to heart valve components and orthopaedic
sutures to fabric scaffolds designed to aid in tissue engineering. The fabrics
these applications are built upon help deliver more life-like products with the
potential to perform better, last longer, and increase comfort in the bodyall
of which can potentially significantly improve outcomes for patients.
advantages, along with the growing concerns around more traditional implantable
materials such as metal, are causing medical device companies (MDCs) to
consider textiles for more device projects than ever before. But as demand for
medical textiles grows, so too does the concern about the quality of these
materials and the controls implemented by the companies that process them. Many
traditional materials developers and textile manufacturers, seeing a promising
business opportunity, are attempting to expand into medical textile development
and processing, often without the necessary medical focus or expertise.
This article was originally
published in the New Cloth Market, June, 2012.