Hot topic at MD&M West: Nanomaterials

The latest advances in medical-grade materials, components, electronics, computer-aided design and manufacturing, production machinery, packaging, sterilization, quality systems, device communications, networking, and enterprise IT will be on display at Medical Design & Manufacturing West in the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center from Feb. 12 to 15. A visit to MD&M West includes free admission to Electronics West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing, WestPack, Plastec West, and the Automation Technology Expo. PrecisionTec, Medpak, Quality, and Laser Tec are special-focus pavilions.

Technical sessions will cover topics that include the use of nanomaterials in the health-care and medical-device industries. A conference, "Nanoadditives in Composites and Coatings for Medical Device Applications" (Session 102) on Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will cover the use of nanoadditives such as nanoclays, nanosilicates, nanocarbon tubes, and nanosilver in composites and coatings for medical devices. Property and functional enhancements like high strength, lubricity, hemocompatibility, anti-static properties, and infection resistance will be highlighted. Future applications include imaging, biosensors, lab-on-a-chip, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), controlled drug delivery, and preventive diagnostics.

Another session (#204) will focus on continuously improving the cost and compliance performance of validation. Speakers will discuss how validation must be adopted and embedded in best practices and business processes while minimizing risk of noncompliance with regulatory requirements.

"Emerging Designs in Polymer Selection for Medical Devices" (Session 202), chaired by Robert Ballard, Corp. Director of Research at Zeus Inc., Orangeburg, S.C., will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 13. It will cover the selection and evaluation of polymers currently available as well as offer a vision of future polymer developments. The successful design of minimally invasive medical devices hinges on the identification and selection of a suitable material and geometry. Navigating through the selection process involves assessment of the mechanical and physical/chemical properties appropriate for the device, application, and intended treatment. The biocompatibility of the material, performance qualities, and attributes are critical in the development of innovative devices that advance medical technology.

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