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Easy-to-use anti-needlestick device uses a combination of materials

Eastman Chemical Company : 09 March, 2004  (Application Story)
Leading medical device manufacturer Safety Syringes, Inc., delivers a safer easy-to-use anti-needlestick device using a combination of winning materials that enhance the form and function of this innovative product line.
The business of protecting healthcare workers from bloodborne pathogens requires sound design as well as robust materials. Safety Syringes found both in their patented Ultra Safe Passive Delivery System. The design also allowed healthcare practitioners to operate the device with one hand using the same familiar technique. The addition of Eastman Chemical Company’s Eastar copolyester DN003 became integral to the efficacy of the product.

Available in several different sizes, the new anti-needlestick needleguards are proving particularly effective with today’s newer biotech drugs that come in pre-filled glass syringes as opposed to vials.

The Ultra Safe Passive Delivery System comprises two moulded components - an outer guard with a grip that is automatically activated immediately following injection and an inner body. The outer guard, vital in shielding healthcare practitioners from accidental needle-sticks, required the same aesthetic look and feel as the inner body. However, to reduce friction and ensure timely release of the protective outer guard, each component had to be molded from different materials. The outer guard was molded from polycarbonate, and the challenge was to find a material for the inner body that offered the strength and clarity of polycarbonate while significantly reducing friction.

The combination of Eastar copolyester DN003 on the inner body and polycarbonate on the outer guard minimized friction to deliver the mechanical functionality required to easily activate the safety device. Better yet, DN003 processed similar to polycarbonate, so there were no costly mold modifications or added manufacturing expenses. According to Tom Hall, Safety Syringes director of RA and QA: “There were no negatives to making the change. DN003 was virtually a drop-in replacement, with the form and function of the part staying the same.”

Throughout product design and development, Safety Syringes validated the design with doctors and nurses in the field. They were very enthused about the design and functionality of the product. In fact, feedback was so positive that Safety Syringes has added DN003 to their manual guards too.

Eastar copolyester DN003, in addition to its brilliant clarity, is chemical resistant and can withstand numerous sterilization techniques, an essential requirement for some medical devices. According to Eastman, it’s more than just finding a material that meets the application requirements. “It’s really about working closely within the supply chain to fully understand the medical industry’s needs from application to distribution,” says Rick Noller, Eastman medical market development manager. “We also worked with local distributor PolyOne and molder APEC to effectively meet application requirements as well as provide a reliable local supply.”

Founded in 1991, Safety Syringes, Inc., specializes in the development of anti-needle-stick devices for the healthcare industry. It is a market leader in safety technology for pre-filled glass syringes and cartridges and holds numerous U.S. and international patents.
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