June 2017

Breathing new life into artificial lungs

Innovations in the medical industry have led to devices that can continue organ function even when our bodies cannot. Membrane oxygenators, for example, act as artificial lungs for those undergoing open heart surgery – oxygenating blood outside the body to ensure that proper lung function is not hindered. Given the nature of their application, these products require durable materials that feature excellent blood compatibility.

With patient safety top-of-mind, Chinese medical device manufacturer Wego New Life Medical Devices Co., Ltd chose polycarbonate from Covestro for its membrane oxygenators. The shell is molded from medical-grade Makrolon® polycarbonate with glass-like transparency, which allows medical professionals to keep a close eye on the oxygenation process.

Makrolon® polycarbonate brings safety and durability to a membrane oxygenator from Wego New Life Medical Devices Co., Ltd. (Photo credit: Wego New Life Medical Devices)

With high impact strength, Makrolon® polycarbonate is durable and reduces the risk of accidental damage during surgery. This material features biocompatibility tested according to ISO10993-1, contributing to patient safety. Covestro materials have been an integral part of the design and production of Wego’s dialyzers and oxygenators since 2008.

With proven success in Europe and North America, Covestro is looking to expand the use of Makrolon® polycarbonate for medical applications in China – and now is an opportune time to grow in this region. As part of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government recently made a commitment to improve medical insurance in order to prevent cases of poverty precipitated by high medical costs related to illnesses. With medical insurance plans now offering patients services at reasonable prices, there is a substantial opportunity for local medical device manufacturers and their materials suppliers. It is expected that this policy will continue to contribute to medical device innovations such as Wego’s membrane oxygenators.

For more information, email plastics@covestro.com.

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