Medical-grade silicone-What is it?
Medical-grade silicone has properties which make it safe for use in contact to the lining tissue. This characteristic is often known as biocompatibility. Actually the silicones are synthetic polymers’ group that is used in different medical devices because of their flexibility, low chemical reactivity and toxicity, and heat resistance. The medical-grade silicone is often used in the medical devices like feeding tubes, bandages, and the medical implants. This type of silicone is also used in different other products which come in close contact to human body, like barrier contraceptives and menstrual cups. Continue below if you want to read more on medical-grade silicone.
All the silicones are actually the polymers with their backbone made with chain containing alternating silicone and the oxygen atoms. Each of these silicon atoms are bonded to oxygen atoms that are present immediately next to them in this chain. Same goes for oxygen atoms as well. All the silicone atoms are also bonded with a couple of organic side-groups that contain hydrogen, carbon, and in certain instances some other elements too. These silicones can have different chemical and physical properties and can also have different levels of suitability to be put to medical use and this actually depends on their structure and composition.
Biocompatibility is the ability of a material to be utilized in some medical device with no harmful effects for patients. There are so many materials which are not suited for the medical use because of their chemical reactivity or toxicity or due to the fact that they can trigger the immune response inside the body of the patient. Any material can have different biocompatibility based on application, because materials can have different impact on different parts of body. The medical-grade silicone is actually produced in environments that are carefully controlled for the prevention of any contamination with some other materials which may possibly compromise final product’s biocompatibility.
In medicine field, medical-grade silicone can serve so many different purposes. Silicone rubber is used in devices like catheters for the medical tubing. It is also used in seals. Silicone components are also present in different implanted devices like artificial joints and pacemakers