Medical equipment is rapidly changing to do more for patients and to improve the quality of life in the process. A key component of these changes is the development of new polymers and methods of using polymers. There’s little doubt that polymers are an essential tool for improving the way doctors treat patients and in the numerous exciting ways they are saving lives. Take a look at a few ways polymers are making a difference in the medical industry.
Cardiac Tissue Engineering
Perhaps one of the most challenging and vital types of tissue in the body is that of the heart. For years, polymers have played a substantial role in helping to develop medical equipment for the support of and management of the heart’s functions including muscle strength in contractions and in pacing the heart.
In a study noted by the National Institutes of Health, researchers are working to use potential polymers to stimulate stem cells. This unique process noted as cardiac tissue engineering aims to help encourage the development of therapeutic cells to replace or improve the function of damaged cells. This could help to improve heart injury or defects in many people.
Changing the Composition of Medical Equipment
In medical equipment, polymers have virtually changed the way doctors manipulate instruments and manage health. Consider a few examples:
- Polymers are highly effective in many applications because they do not disrupt x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging, which are the foundations of the initial diagnosis of conditions. They are better suited to these needs, then than most metals.
- New polymers are now becoming just as strong and long-lasting as metals. A key reason why metals continue to be used is this long-term lifespan. Yet, new polymers are mimicking the strength of metals, reducing this key concern.
- New technology, from the University of Akron in Ohio, is showing how medical devices made using polymers can work more effectively in communicating from within the body. Using sensors located in the body, they can conduct electricity and not interfere with bodily functions.
There are many ways that polymers, which seem like a basic product, are becoming one of the most exciting of all components in the medical field. With solutions that are more durable and easier to use. More so, there are even 3D printed medical devices made of polymers that pose exciting potential as well.
At Polymer Chemistry, we’re working on medical innovations like this every day. Contact us to learn more.