Learn more about implantable silicone

Question: I’d like to know more about implantable medical silicone.

Answer: Implantable medical silicone has the capability of being implanted in a living body without the risk of rejection. Commonly, the implantable medical silicone is categorized into two types: short term (restricted) and long term (unrestricted) implantable silicone.

The short term implantable medical silicone is used for a temporary medical application – normally ranging from 1 to 29 days. For example, a suture sleeve is made of short term implantable silicone to hold parts of a medical device to keep them in place during a suture. Once the suture is done, the suture sleeve is removed from the patient’s body. The long term implantable silicone should be able to remain inside the patient’s body for 30 days or more. A good example of long term implant application is the Left Ventricular Assist Device; this device helps the patient maintain the pumping ability of a heart that can’t sufficiently pump blood throughout the body on its own. This device isn’t removed until the patient has a donor.

Each medical silicone implant application requires certain implantable silicone. A medical device containing implantable medical silicone or other biomaterials must be carefully evaluated according to ISO 10993 before it is implanted into a patient’s body; the ISO 10993 contains a series of standards for evaluating the biocompatibility of the device. Also, it sometimes is tested according to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) depending on individual application.

There are commercially implantable medical silicone materials available in high consistency silicone rubber (HCR) and liquid silicone rubber (LSR). Color additives can be added to meet the requirement of a medical application, but it is recommended that the color additives should have the same class and manufacture as the implantable silicone to prevent defects. The implantable medical silicone can also be mixed with additives such as tungsten and barium that allows the implants to be viewed easily with medical imaging equipment.

Therefore, selecting an implantable medical silicone for a medical device should be thoroughly evaluated prior to implantation. If you have any other questions, please email Phayhean Soo directly at psoo@albright1.com.

This entry was posted in Silicone Design, Silicone Manufacturing, Silicone Properties, Silicone Prototyping on by .

About Hean

Prior to joining Albright Technologies, Hean was an intern and a part-time employee at Berry Plastics. After starting at Albright Technologies in May 2011 as an intern, he recently became a full-time employee as a Project Engineer in Training. Currently his responsibilities include, designing molds, programming codes for tools, inspecting articles, setting up a LIM machine and anything else that helps the team move forward. Hean received his Associates degree in Liberal Arts and a concentration in Physical Science from Middlesex Community College in 2008, and a Bachelors degree in Plastics Engineering with a business minor from UMass Lowell in 2011.