Engineering Insights by Hartie Spence

ASH Industries Blog

Gut Mysteries

Swallowable sensors make revelation possible. New technology presents the possibility of revealing mechanisms never before observed by scientists. Researchers are placing sensors in the midst of the body’s systems and monitoring the natural processes that have protected human kind for its duration.



This new generation of sensors will allow scientists to not only understand what is not well for those afflicted, but will accelerate development of a new breed of therapies that bolster the body’s defenses and eliminate the complications from invasive procedures.

These sensors are possible because of injection moldable thermoplastic materials development that (in the case of the guts chemicals) resist the hydrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and oxidizing chemicals. Of the two types of thermoplastics typically unitized in medical injection molding, materials are grouped into amorphous and semi-crystalline plastics. Semi-crystalline moldable thermoplastics have portions of their structure that form crystalline (structured) polymer chains among the random chains. These crystalline portions of the moldable material allow (among other properties) greater chemical resistance.

ASH Engineers can assist customers in picking which thermoplastic would suit their application and which varieties have FDA approved medical thermoplastic variants.



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