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The Importance Of Medical Grade Plastics In The Healthcare Industry

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Like most things, medical equipment will only be as valuable as the resources that are used to create that equipment. However, it is vital that medical equipment be made out of the top possible resources on the market because those materials can mean a life or death scenario for someone. Manufacturers, doctors, and patients should not have to worry if medical tolls will perform the way they should.

Plastic is a commonly used resource for many different kinds of medical equipment, but not all forms of plastic are made from the same grade or are made to the same quality. Continue reading to see how medical-grade plastic outperforms other types of plastic on the market.

What Is The Highest Form Of Plastic?

The highest grade of medical plastic that is on the market is cycloolefin polymers. This material is made from at least one cyclic monomer. In most cases, the term is used in reference to cyclic olefin polymers (COP). This form of plastic makes it significantly different than other kinds of plastic that are used by medical manufacturers because it is such a pure grade of plastic.

What Makes Medical Grade Plastic Different From Other Types Of Plastic?

Medical grade plastics are a highly sought after form of plastic because it has such a pure grade of the cyclo olefin polymer. Due to this, the plastic is almost similar to medical grade glass (and in some situations, it’s a preferred substance over medical grade glass). The reason that a lot of physicians and nurses tend to prefer medical grade plastic over glass is due to the fact that they run into fewer obstacles with the plastics.

Medical grade plastic is far less likely to crack or break, even when it’s been used for a long period of time.  Medical glass, on the other hand, is more likely to have some fissures that begin to appear as time goes on. Many healthcare professionals prefer medical grade plastic because they worry that the glass could potentially start to crack during major surgery.

Manufacturers also prefer medical grade plastic because it has a non-ionic and inert surface to it. This will help cut down on the amounts of denaturation, delamination, and agglomeration that can sometimes occur in medical grade glasses. Medical grade plastic is also straightforward to clean and keep clean.

This is always the concern in a medical environment, but it is even more of a concern now that COVID is a major pandemic in the United States. Additionally, medical grade plastic is required to be a higher form of plastic because it won’t start to leak out any harmful substances that could make it into a person’s body during a procedure.

Usually, medical professionals are nervous about using equipment that is made of plastic for this reason. Still, medical grade plastic allows more people in the medical field to be rest assured that their patients will be safe with whatever tool they’re using. For manufacturers, they now have more flexibility for designing medical equipment since plastic can be manipulated more than glass.

Advantages Of Medical Grade Plastic In The Place Of Medical Grade Glass

As stated above, one of the main reasons that medical manufacturers are excited to begin using medical grade plastic in more types of medical equipment is due to how malleable the plastic can be. With glass, only so much can be done with it until the glass will be stretched to thein and start to crack.

However, medical grade plastic doesn’t have that problem. The ability to use medical grade plastics in more medical equipment will open up a whole new world of possibilities for product designers.

Patients or visitors will also never be able to detect the differences between the plastics or glass. Medical grade plastic is as clear as glass- it doesn’t have the fog texture to it that many forms of plastic have. This helps physicians see as they’re operating on a patient.

Another advantage that the plastic has is that it weighs less than glass. This makes it simpler for the surgeons to use on their patients, and it means that a surgeon will not get as tired as quickly as they’re performing the surgery.

COP plastics also weigh less than glass or other, lower grades of medical plastics. Due to this trait, doctors can be more agile during surgery with the utensils they’re using, and they’ll be less inclined to feel fatigued as quickly.

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A New way around Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

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Researchers at Purdue University have created a powerful compound that specifically tackles Tuberculosis, a leading killer worldwide.

The scientists came up with a series of inhibitors that destroy TB by targeting a protein necessary for the survival of the TB molecule.

Tuberculosis destabilizes the immunity of patients with the help of Protein Tyrosine Phosphates B (mPTPB). Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

“The death toll from TB is particularly high because of drug-resistant strains,” said Zhong-Yin Zhang, distinguished professor and head of Purdue’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and director of Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery. “These inhibitors are part of a promising new approach to developing TB therapeutic agents with novel targets and mechanisms of action to help save more lives.”

Right now, doctors rely on antibiotic preparations to treat Tuberculosis. The problem is that many patients don’t complete their dose of antibiotics and this non-adherence leads to the development of drug resistant tuberculosis.

“We developed a platform to target mPTPB for novel anti-TB agents that builds on technologies we pioneered to modulate abnormal protein tyrosine phosphatase activity for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders,” Zhang elaborated.

According to Zhang, the inhibitors’ have unique properties that make them incredibly useful. They have a lighter molecular weight and superior metabolic stability. They give scientists an excellent opportunity to create better treatments for Tuberculosis.

The visionary scientists are already working to patent the exciting new technology. The hunt is on for partners who will work with Purdue to further the development of the new technology. This is together with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

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A New Era Diagnosing Parkinson’s

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Scientists are on the verge of introducing a cheaper, faster, and completely painless test for Parkinson’s.

The researchers based at the University of Manchester said the new test which is already in sight, will herald a new era in diagnosing Parkinson’s disease.

A research paper published in the journal Nature Communications details the researchers’ findings that demonstrate hope in a new way of diagnosing Parkinson’s that is simple and painless – a skin swab.

The test examines compounds in the skin’s natural oil called sebum which is not the same in people who have Parkinson’s.  Sebum is a protective oily layer on human skin.

“We believe that our results are an extremely encouraging step towards tests that could be used to help diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s,” explained University of Manchester Prof Perdita Barran.

“Not only is the test quick, simple and painless but it should also be extremely cost-effective because it uses existing technology that is already widely available.

“We are now looking to take our findings forwards to refine the test to improve accuracy even further and to take steps towards making this a test that can be used in the NHS and to develop more precise diagnostics and better treatment for this debilitating condition.”

The team worked with 500 sebum samples. All of them were extracted from people’s upper backs. Some of the subjects had Parkinson’s and some did not.

The scientists used mass spectrometry to isolate 10 chemical compounds that become reduced or elevated when the person has Parkinson’s.

They could diagnose people with Parkinson’s with an accuracy of 85%.

Because Parkinson’s takes so long to progress, it can take years for people to visit a doctor because the symptoms don’t become noticeable for years.

Specialists use a DaTscan to see whether the brain is losing dopamine-producing brain cells. This means that a patient is developing Parkinson’s disease.

The trouble is that there are other, more rare neurological conditions that cause the same loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. This makes the Parkinson’s diagnoses more complicated.

Around a quarter of people living with Parkinson’s in the UK were misdiagnosed with something else first, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK.

56-year-old Daxa Kalayci is a Leicester native who has known that she was living with Parkinson’s since her diagnosis in September 2019. In the four years before that that, Kalayci had been misdiagnosed several times over.

“This test could be a game-changer for people living with Parkinson’s and searching for answers, like I was,” she quipped.

“I am so happy with this news because it will mean that in future people won’t have to experience the anxiety of multiple appointments, long waiting times and sleepless nights.

“The sooner this test is available, the better. Anything that can help people looking for a diagnosis is a bonus.”

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Scientists will Soon spot Diseases and find exoplanets with super Tiny photonic devices

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Researchers working in Sweden have created a microcomb capable of detecting diseases faster and making optical communications systems more efficient, among other exciting applications.

The scientists at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have built the photonic device (microcomb) with the capability to produce optical frequencies on a micro resonator – a minute optical cavity.

Effectively, the microcomb is like a ruler of light that measures frequencies with extreme accuracy.

The microcomb generates an array of optical frequencies whose colors are evenly distributed, making it more or less a ruler of light that measures and produces frequencies with extreme accuracy.

The researchers used a chip to develop a new microcomb based on two micro resonators instead of one. The interaction between the two micro resonators is similar to atoms that bind together to create a diatomic molecule known as a photonic molecule.

The microcomb is a device that is readable and capable of being tuned as well as being replicated into something multiple times more efficient than the best devices available at the moment.

The results are extremely significant. “The reason why the results are important is that they represent a unique combination of characteristics, in terms of efficiency, low-power operation and control, that are unprecedented in the field,” explained PhD candidate Óskar Bjarki Helgason.

This is by no means the first time that scientists have created a microcomb on a chip, but it is definitely the first time that scientists have deployed a second micro resonator to beat many of the limitations that have never been surmounted before.

The arrangement has created a number of unique characteristics. The microcomb is so small that it can sit on the tip of a human hair and leaves relatively wide gaps between its teeth.

These wide teeth mean that engineers and researchers have massive opportunities to explore the possibilities.

The microcomb is capable of making optical communication systems vastly more efficient by replacing many lasers with a single microcomb placed in data centers.

The microcombs have great potential for use in lidar to power self-driving vehicles where they can be deployed to record distances, or to calibrate spectrographs deployed in astronomical observations.

Microcombs are also ideal for making optical clocks more accurate as well as improving health monitoring apps in mobile phones, and increasing the accuracy of diagnostic tests that rely on analyzing exhaled air.

“For the technology to be practical and find its use outside the lab, we need to co-integrate additional elements with the micro resonators, such as lasers, modulators, and control electronics,” explained Dr Victor Torres-Company, who is in charge of the Ultrafast Photonics Laboratory at Chalmers University. “This is a huge challenge, that requires maybe five to 10 years and an investment in engineering research, but I am convinced that it will happen.

“The most interesting advances and applications are the ones that we have not even conceived of yet. This will likely be enabled by the possibility of having multiple microcombs on the same chip. What could we achieve with tens of microcombs that we cannot do with one?”

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