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A hydrophilic polymer material

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HydroPLAST (A hydrophilic polymer material)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2018-09-30

It is anticipated that thermoplastics for medical applications market reach € 27 billion by the end of 2025 with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) leading the market. The high incidence of cardiovascular issues, general medical conditions, infections, and other diseases, coupled with increasing development of medical treatments and procedures, and increasing general awareness will propel the medical device industry in the coming years . Accordingly, chronic diseases are prevalent among the expanding geriatric population and they require continuous medical attention. This will have a positive influence on the global medical thermoplastics market. Also, the growing political support together with the supportive reimbursement policies of medical products is expected to impact the medical device industry in Europe. In addition, the global market for microfluidic devices is gaining significant importance due to thriving R&D investment in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and increasing point of care (POC) testing demand. An increase in POC testing, as an effective method for delivery of treatment has also led to increase in the demand for microfluidic devices in the global market. A major driver behind microfluidics is the reduction of assay time from hours to minutes or even seconds and the ability to follow the chemical and biological (single-cell) reactions through a laminar flow. The micro/nano/pico litre volume needed for analysis and the same scale of low waste production on a microchip is another market driving force. Globally the market for microfluidic devices is increasing rapidly, with an expected growth rate of about 19.7% from 2016 to 2024.

Despite the long-lasting use of current available thermoplastics in biomedical applications, there is an important struggle with its hydrophobicity for many years. Hydrophobicity means repealing water and preference to contact with air/gas or other hydrophobic particles/substances, e.g. proteins or bacterial cell walls. These features are a challenging issue and represent an important drawback in the development of adequate surfaces for specific applications, such as medical and diagnostic devices. In order to obtain devices hydrophilicity, the state-of-the-art procedures include surface treatment/modification with several methodologies. This additional step in the production process increases the final production cost besides all the safety related issues involved.

On this background it is relevant to introduce highly hydrophilic thermoplastics to overcome the most critical drawbacks of thermoplastic-based devices for biomedical applications.
Tensistat is a thermoplastic material developed by Jonsman Innovation, motivated by years of medical device R&D where the need for a plastic material with hydrophilic properties have been evident.
The feasibility study has had the purpose of proving the feasibility of the Tensistat material, both the business case and the relevance for the primary segments.

Activities in the feasibility study:
• Assessed the application segments for Tensistat, in terms of relevance, technical viability and business potential.
• Optimized the properties of the Tensistat material.
• Made an actionable business plan aiming at in-house high-volume production in Europe.
• Planned the Phase 2 project, including written commitments with test-users.

The feasibility study has been a success and have provided the basis for confidently moving forward with the commercialisation of Tensistat.
No injection moldable hydrophilic plastic materials exist today, and with Tensistat we have thus progressed significantly beyond state-of-the-art.