Biomaterials come under the microscope

8th March 2017
Posted By : Joe Bush
Biomaterials come under the microscope


The Ceramics Expo and Conference, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, on 25th-27th April, will explore the latest trends and innovations in bioceramic technology. 

Increasingly, a number of silicon-nitride-, alumina- and zirconia-based products – including those designed specifically for areas such as surgical implants, prosthetics and advanced dental care – have become materials of choice in the North American medical industry.

Bioceramics and bioglasses play a vital role in a range of patient care options, evidenced by recent inventions that improve the situation for sufferers of liver and kidney disease and the contribution being made – in diabetes, for instance – by ceramics in biosensors. Other spheres of treatment and research also rely on these advanced materials, such as in piezoceramics for micro-pumps, and precision devices and tools.

“The most exciting thing is breaking new ground in material science,” commented Amedica’s CEO, Dr Sonny Bal. “Building relationships with partners and opening the dialogue is a key goal of Amedica at forums such as Ceramics Expo 2017. Our existing industry partnerships were built by introductions at national and international meetings, and we look forward to building even more bridges going forward.”

The latest TMR report on the industry (December 2016) notes that the field is ripe with R&D activities, with many more medical ceramics with higher levels of mechanical strength, efficiency and flexibility expected to enter the global market in the near future.

The overall business generated by bioceramics and piezoceramics in medicine is set to continue its upward trend. One industry forecast projects this market to register an extremely healthy CAGR of 6.4% in the next several years and result in sales worth more than $16bn by 2020.

The importance of this whole area of our industry is reflected by its increased visibility in the free-to-attend Conference @ Ceramics Expo 2017. Track 1 on the final day is completely dedicated to medical applications and includes sessions on the regulatory framework in ceramics for medical applications; better dispersion and rheology control to achieve high performing ceramics; examining end-user requirements; advances in sintering and firing technologies; and evaluating clinical data performance of bioceramics and bioglasses.

Expert speakers from organisations including Prosidyan, Amedica, Robocasting Enterprises, Mo-Sci Corp, Future Strategy Solutions, Spinode Consulting, CeramTec Medical Productsand DePuy Synthes will all be present on the day (27th April).

A free medical industry webinar can also be downloaded here – ‘Evaluating the Regulatory Framework and Industry Standards for Bioceramic and Bioglasses in Medical Applications’.

A number of companies will be exhibiting on the show floor. These include:

Amedica: booth 717
Medical grade silicon nitride from first-time exhibitor Amedica features a nanosurface texture that promotes bone growth, demonstrates antibacterial characteristics and provides imaging capabilities, addressing clinical needs as well as providing physicians with a strong material that is highly reliable and wear resistant.

Johnson Matthey Advanced Glass Technologies: booth 1016
Johnson Matthey Advanced Glass Technologies has developed its intermixable PHD Series that achieves high levels of mechanical and chemical resistance, well suited for the demands of one-way pharmaceutical packaging holloware products such as vials, ampoules and bottles.

IRD Ceramics: booth 137
IRD Ceramics manufactures a variety of custom glass and ceramic components for the medical industry, such as medical capillary slides, cuvettes, optical filters, ceramic probe tips, nozzles, ablating and cauterising tips, precision tubes, sapphire windows and advanced IR lenses used in infrared sensors.

McDanel Advanced Ceramic Technologies: booth 638
McDanel Advanced Ceramic Technologies offers two ceramic materials specifically designed for dosing operations – Pharmalox and Pharmazirc – that can fit new filling machines or be retro-fitted, replacing chromium plated, glass or low purity ceramic pumps. For over 20 years, sister company NeoCeram has been designing and manufacturing filling and dosing pumps.

Corning: booth 532
The pharmaceutical glass operations of Corning in the US and Europe manufacture a variety of clear and amber borosilicate glass tubing, which is converted by its global customers into vials, cartridges, ampules and syringes for drug storage and delivery.

Elan Tech: booth 538
Elan Technology produces materials that have found widespread use in medical implants, medical sensors, artificial hip and knee joints, pacemakers and heart pumps, dental implants, drug delivery devices and hearing implants.

Kyocera: booth 301
Kyocera collaborated with leading US surgeons to develop its Initia Total Hip System, recent recipient of FDA 510(k) clearance. It exploits core Kyocera technologies, including BIOCERAM AZUL zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) ceramic femoral heads. Initia is also available with cobalt chrome (CoCr) femoral heads, giving surgeons the option of ceramic or metal heads matched to highly cross-linked polyethylene acetabular liners.

Gasser: booth 834
Gasser & Sons is a medical x-ray housing supplier. Clients have come to depend on the company’s experience in precision forming, machining, finishing, brazing and radiation shielding.

GoodFellow: booth 722
Goodfellow Corp has products such as glazed ceramic handles for surgical components; precision alumina ceramic components with carefully controlled material characteristics; ceramic-to-metal seals for medical x-ray components; and rectangular glass tubing which, when dipped in a liquid, fills by capillary action to allow microscopic examination of the fluid.

IMR Test Labs: booth 934
IMR Test Labs is an accredited materials testing lab providing analytical services to the medical device and dental industries. It has experience working with medical OEMs verifying raw materials, handling overflow testing from internal labs, testing finished products and providing support to R&D efforts.

Morgan: booth 325
Morgan Advanced Materials manufactures ceramic-to-metal assemblies including feedthroughs for implantable devices such as pacemakers, cochlear implants and defibrillators. It also makes materials for piezoceramic composite components, medical sensors, transducers for surgery and dental procedures, and blood shear valves for hematology applications.

Jeol: booth 1008
JEOL USA supplies TEMs for direct visualisation of cellular structures, viruses and individual proteins prepared using a wide selection of sample preparation techniques, ranging from ultrathin sectioning to vitrification of unstained and unfixed biological materials. JEOL SEMs provide high resolution montages and 3D images of structural details.

LouwersHanique: booth 128
LouwersHanique has strategic collaborations with leading glass material producers. In particular, borosilicate glass is applied mostly in analytical and synthetic applications in the analytical and biochemical sectors due to its unique chemical resistance, auto-split ability, optical transparency, biochemical compatibility and thermal shock resistance.

Rauschert: booth 941
Rauschert Industries has oxide and non-oxide ceramics for medical device applications. Multi-functional solutions are proposed for components for endoscopy instruments, pumps and valves; porous ceramics used as filters; components for analytical devices; electrical and thermal insulation components; and diaphragms in analytics.

Materion: booth 443
Materion Ceramics develops and manufactures materials for numerous applications, including lasers, robotic surgery, glucose testing, imaging, diagnostic sensors, antimicrobial, dental and surgical, implantable medical devices and wound treatment.

Micromatics: booth 235
Micromeritics Instrument Corp contributes to accurate data acquisition in development phases such as preformulation studies. Particle size analysis, for instance, is important. Product morphology in addition to size has direct influence on solubility. Inhaled products are based on less than 5µm aerodynamic shape to be deposited in the lungs and not upper respiratory areas. Shape can be used as a PAT to define process send points and batch-to-batch variability.

Mo-Sci: booth 218
The bioactive glasses from Mo-Sci Corp range from cast shapes, quenched frit, rods, fibers, disks, spheres, porous scaffolds and millimetre- to submicron-sized powders. These can be surface treated or modified as needed for particular applications.

PremaTech: booth 509
PremaTech Advanced Ceramics grinds, laps and polishes ceramic implants, complex ceramic assemblies for surgical tools, medical instrumentation, and therapeutic and diagnostic equipment.

SpexSample: booth 1117
SPEX SamplePrep LLC answers a need in biotechnology and forensic applications where effective cell disruption and DNA/RNA extraction are critical. SPEX SamplePrep’s Geno/Grinder and Freezer/Mills aid scientists by providing high throughput sample preparation solutions at ambient and cryogenic temperatures.

ThermoFisher: booth 702
Thermo Fisher Scientific, through its drug discovery and development team, helps drive efficiency in assay development, high throughput screening, and metabolic and safety assessment.

Treibacher: booth 817
Treibacher Industrie AG is a vanadium manufacturer and rare earth specialist. It offers a range of materials for environmental catalysts and the pharmaceutical industry – mainly on the basis of rare earths and vanadium chemicals.

CeramTec: booth 923
CeramTec BIOLOX bioceramics are used successfully in orthopedics and help maintain and increase quality of life with implant components for artificial hip joints and knee replacements. Biocompatible and wear resistant advanced ceramics enable doctors to provide patients with optimum care. Today, a hip joint replacement featuring CeramTec BIOLOX components is implanted every 30 seconds by doctors around the world. Also, CeramTec advanced ceramics are at work in all kinds of medical devices and equipment, such as lithotripters and ultrasonic cleaners, and in dental products.

View the full exhibitor list here.
Register for your free pass here

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