Use cases ·

Applications of carbon fiber in the medical industry

In general, this material is combined with other polymers to form fiber-reinforced composites, which gives rigidity to the polymers used in the final part. When carbon fiber is added with plastic resin, the result is a fibrocarbon that has high strength to weight and is extremely stiff.

Applications of carbon fiber in the medical industry

The main qualities of carbon fiber are hardness and lightness, which is why it is used in fields such as automobiles, aeronautics and sports. In this same sense, applications in the medical area bring innumerable benefits to the human being.

Generally, this material is combined with other materials to form a composite, which gives rigidity to the polymers used in the final part. When carbon fiber is added with plastic resin, the result is a fibrocarbon that has a high resistance to weight ratio and is extremely rigid.

When the fiber is added with graphite, for example, carbon-carbon composites with very high tolerance to high temperatures are formed.

Carbon fiber is very strong due to its structure and composition. Each yarn is a bundle of thousands of carbon filaments. The lightness is explained by the fact that each thin tube has a diameter of approximately 5 microns.

Each of the carbon filaments is made from a polymer which is often rayon, polyacrylnitril or a resin derived from petroleum.

Primary uses in the medical field

The use of carbon fiber in the medical field results in lighter, more reliable and stronger parts.

One of the benefits of using reinforced polymers in medicine is that the carbon-based organic structure has a high compatibility with the body's biological systems. This is a great advantage when analyzing a specific interaction with the body and properties such as biocompatibility can be regulated.

For parts that do not involve contact with the body, the main applications of carbon fiber composites revolve around:

  • medical devices
  • containers
  • packaging
  • hemodialysis membranes
  • fluid transport

However, when it comes to parts for the inside of the temporary organism, the material is mainly used for parts that require flexibility and critical mechanical properties for their proper functioning and performance.

  • Vascular catheters
  • Balloons for dosing
  • Dressings
  • Sutures
  • Implants where durability and strength are required
  • Surgical meshes

Finally, polymeric composites are used to reinforce those parts that have contact with the skin such as orthoses and external prostheses.

Currently, thanks to new technologies such as 3D printing, polymeric materials offer a viable alternative for the manufacture of parts for medical use that are resistant, reliable and safe for human use. Research on the use and applications of carbon fiber in medical parts is still ongoing, but the outlook is promising.