How we make world’s only biodegradable catheter

How we make world’s only biodegradable catheter

Biodegradable polymers and biodegradable plastics have eased the environmental concerns of many injection moulders. Polymermedics, in particular, has become first biodegradable catheter manufacturer, eliminating the potential waste from plastics. High quality controls and stable production capabilities made the manufacturing of biodegradable catheter highly efficient.

In just one year, we manufacture about two billion precision-moulded parts at Polymermedics. Each project that we undertake comes with its own unique challenges, yet our specialists are always happy to implement new perplexing ideas. Polymermedics goes hand-in-hand with innovative practices. That is why, when medical device company, Hunter Urology, chose us a catheter manufacturer for the worl’s first biodegradable catheter, we couldn’t have been happier.

“Using cornstarch-based bioplastic, we were able to produce first world’s biodegradable catheter Emteva”

Project Description: how biodegradable catheter makes a difference

As we met with Hunter Urology, we came across some devastating statistics. Yearly, about 75 million catheters end up in UK dumps and stay there for generations. Most commonly known catheters are made from coated PVC, which takes decades to dissolve.

Our manufacturing for Hunter Urology is way more environmentally friendly. Using cornstarch-based bioplastic, we were able to produce first world’s biodegradable catheter “Emteva”. If adopted all across the UK, Emteva could save the NHS up to £22 million/year and make a significant impact on the environmental improvement.

“Emteva could save the NHS up to £22 million/year and make a significant impact on the environmental improvement”

Challenges

Bioplastic made from cornstarch is a unique material that is new to our industry. Almost no moulding specialist has ever encountered such a material. Our specialists worked day and night on refining the plastics and adjusting the manufacturing to the qualities of this groundbreaking material. Stable timing and formulation are vital to cornstarch precision moulding; a second or millimeter could result in a substantial error. All this leads to specific requirements during the production. For instance, to achieve the desired flexibility, bioplastic needed a particular amount of water. With traditional plastics, we have to keep water out at all costs.

Value added

Self-catheterization is day-to-day routine for many people worldwide. Therefore, it is crucial that Emteva provides superb comfort and watertight containment. Manufactures made sure to customize the catheter to customer needs by adding a built-in grip, which enables patients with poor hand dexterity to self catheterise more easily, and a closing cap. Those features help to secure the injection. Thanks to well-thought-out design of biodegradable material, Emteva is the most secure, comfortable, and disposable catheter available on the market.

“Thanks to well-thought-out design of biodegradable material, Emteva is the most secure, comfortable, and disposable catheter available on the market”

Outcome

In order to begin legal manufacture of the Emteva at Polymermedics, we had our manufacturing process CE approved, which allowed to accelerate the production. Our modernized and swift production enabled Hunter Metrology to enlarge their UK and EU supply and emerge into Australian and US markets as well. “Emteva” has proven to be leading product on the market, while Polymermedics has stayed the sole catheter manufacturer at Hunter Urology. We are happy to be a part of this revolutionizing process!

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