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Proof-of-Concept Drug-Delivery System Sorts Out Recycling Roadblocks

A global rise in the population suffering from chronic disease is expected to contribute to robust growth in the drug-delivery systems market. The segment is pegged to expand at a 6% compound annual growth rate in the next five years, increasing in value by $77.6 billion by 2026, according to a business report from Infiniti Research Ltd. With greater numbers of drug-delivery products in the hands of medical professionals and consumers, the amount of waste also will climb. Polymers company Covestro has introduced a proof-of-concept device that uses discrete polycarbonates in each part, simplifying sorting and recycling after disposal of bio-contaminated device components.

Several medical-grade polycarbonates and blends from Covestro’s portfolio are used in the production of the device, all of which provide a specific benefit:

  • Low-friction Makrolon polycarbonate improves consistency by allowing for smooth action inside the device. Parts last longer and doses are easier to administer using less force.
  • Glass-filled Makrolon polycarbonate offers superior rigidity and dimensional stability under spring load.
  • High-flow Makrolon polycarbonate and Bayblend PC+ABS enable thin-walled designs that reduce overall device weight and plastics use while maintaining strength and shape. The materials are available in transparent, opaque, and colored versions.

Every part is custom molded to work together without fasteners, meaning disassembly, sorting, and recycling are simplified, said Covestro.

The company’s recently introduced low-carbon footprint Makrolon RE polycarbonate for healthcare can also be used in the fabrication of the concept device.

“The healthcare industry is always looking for sustainable solutions and to reduce medical waste,” said Covestro’s Lauren Zetts, Americas Marketing Manager, Healthcare – Polycarbonates. “This unit has concepts that innovate on multiple fronts, and we hope it inspires counterparts in the medical device manufacturing community to take the innovation even further.”

Covestro will exhibit in booth 2221 at the co-located Plastec West and Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) trade show and conference, part of Informa Markets – Engineering (IME) West, which also includes WestPack, automation show ATX, and Design & Manufacturing (D&M). The event runs from April 12 to 14 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

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