Medical-grade polymers are extremely important in the global healthcare industry. From implants, surgical instruments to catheters and medical equipment, plastics are used in a variety of devices.
In fact, the global medical plastics market is predicted to surpass a whopping $24 billion by 204.
Let us look at some trends that will define the medical polymers space in 2021 and beyond.
1) 3D Printing Paves the Way for 4D Printing
With the help of 3D-printed plastics, pharma firms and medical device manufacturers are developing patient-specific implants, advanced drug packaging, and novel medical tools. Due to the mainstream use of 3D printing, the adoption of 4D printing is around the corner. It can enable the development of smart materials. 4D-printed products can modify their shape, properties, and color. They can also reduce production time and minimize post-processing requirements.
2) Biodegradable Polymers Continue to Gain Traction
Eco-conscious medical organizations are slowly adopting biodegradable polymers to expand their applications to the realms of surgical structures, reinforcement meshes, and cardiovascular stents.
Since biodegradable polymers can also help accelerate the healing process, they will continue to witness huge demand throughout 2021. These polymers also have the ability to decompose in the body, making it ones of the top preferences in the medical polymers industry.
3) PVC to Witness Sustained Demand in Years to Come
The medical polymers market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8% through 2024. One of the polymers that will play a huge role in propelling the market ahead is PVC. Due to PVC’s unparalleled performance characteristics, cost-efficiency and durability, PVC is highly preferred for surgical devices, drug-delivery applications, and pharmaceutical packaging.
4) PEEK Polymers are Replacing Metals
Since polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymers are not affected by blood or lipids, they have been widely used in orthopedic implant applications such as bone screws, plates and pins, tissue anchors, and suture screws. PEEK polymers are also on the verge of replacing metals as a hip stem component. The reason being, these polymers are more flexible and compatible as a bone structure, compared to steel or titanium
5) Medical Packaging is Geared for Continued Growth
Polymers like polystyrene are a popular material for packaging in the medical industry, owing to their many properties such as stability, insulation, versatility, low-cost and lightweight. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is also widely preferred as it can ward off contamination and reinforce reliability.
Polymer barrier packaging and packaging films will witness huge demand as well. The reason being, polymer packaging is used to shield medical products from exposure to compression, vibrations, stress, and magnetic fields.
We hope you have gained some noteworthy insights from this blog. In conclusion, the advances in medical polymers will continue to grow at a rapid pace in 2021 and beyond. Sustained research, accompanied by development activities and innovation will drive the market forward for many years to come.