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Cyclic Olefin Copolymer Tapped for Disposable Cartridge Components Used in Drug Delivery

Precision molded parts reported to offer drug compatibility and dimensional stability

ERIE, Pa.— Custom injection molder Plastikos Inc., along with its sister mold making company Micro Mold, both based in Erie, Pa., recently reported that they have successfully commercialized disposable cartridge components made of cyclic olefin polymer (COC). The components are used in wearable drug delivery devices for medications such as insulin and pain medicines.

Plastikos has commercial projects underway with U.S. drug delivery device manufacturers, and is also exploring uses for COC in other related drug delivery applications. With shipments of nearly eight million parts during the past year, Plastikos is a major medical molder of COC components for drug delivery devices.

The precision disposable cartridges, which consist of several parts molded of Topas® cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Topas Advanced Polymers, are manufactured under strict performance qualifications including highly challenging tolerance levels and multi-cavity tooling.

“In these highly demanding applications, we are able to push the limits in terms of precision molding because of the broad material and process know-how we bring to the table,” said Rob Cooney, manufacturing manager for Plastikos, in a press release. The challenging project included the design and construction of multi-cavity molds that range up to 32 cavities, with fully interchangeable inserts among all cavities. To further mitigate the risk of shipping a single defective part, every cavity on each mold was designed and built with a cavity pressure sensor. This mold sensor technology is used to monitor every cycle in production and provides 100 percent traceability.

Plastikos works closely with OEMs and material supplier Topas Advanced Polymers to produce complex geometries and tight tolerances down to less than 0.001 in. (0.025 mm). In addition to providing purity, drug compatibility, biocompatibility, and dimensional stability Topas COC is reported to deliver consistent, reproducible performance and facilitate miniaturization of drug delivery systems.

“We have worked closely with Plastikos for several years now, and are very impressed with their ability to scale up incredibly precise designs to meet the needs of healthcare device makers,” said Timothy Kneale, president of Topas Advanced Polymers Inc., in the release.

“TOPAS COC fills a vital role in the disposable cartridge because of its repeatable performance in an industry where precision means everything,” added Dan Snyder, technical sales manager for Plastikos, in the release. “It’s a well-respected material because of its drug compatibility and other high-performance attributes.”

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