Silicone is a man-made polymer that is created by combining carbon and/or oxygen to the natural element of silicon. Over the years silicone has become a popular material used for a variety of industries and product applications. One of those industries is the healthcare industry. In the healthcare industry, silicone is used for a variety of products including implants, pacemakers, stents, catheters, orthopedic, ear and eye devices, and valves. The rise in silicone’s popularity was due to its ability to be used and manipulated for a variety of applications. But why choose silicone for healthcare products?

infant pacifiers at exteme molding that use silicone for healthcare products

Biocompatibility

Biocompatibility is the ability of a material to perform its function without causing an adverse reaction or response to the recipient. This also means that the material is compatible with living tissue. Having a higher-than-average level of biocompatibility means that there are little to no allergic reactions to the product when using it closely with the human body. This is one of the main reasons the medical industry uses silicone for healthcare products.

Feel

Silicone can be soft to touch which makes it suitable for products that come in direct skin contact with the human body. Because of its biocompatibility and it being soft to touch, it makes for a lower risk for skin irritation. Using silicone for healthcare products increases the level of comfort for the person using the product, while still maintaining its durability and flexibility to reduce further injuries.

Porosity

Other porous rubber materials allow harmful bacteria to be easily trapped through microscopic holes in the material. The rubber elastomers in medical grade silicone are formulated specifically to be non-porous, making it a safe sealing material where harmful bacteria cannot be contained. Silicone does not support microbial growth due to its hydrophobic nature.

Non-Reactive to Other Chemicals

Silicone is non-reactive to other chemicals and fluid materials as well. Silicone seals remain solid when exposed to water, acids, ammonia, and isopropyl alcohol. The material also has a strong chemical bond which is what makes it so durable. Silicone has excellent temperature resistance handling extreme cold to extreme heat variations. Silicone is also not affected by UV radiation at all.

Stability

The other plastic materials that people may use in the healthcare industry are known to degrade, lose color, or become damaged over some period of time. However, silicone is known to be flexible and stay stable over a longer period without any damage or loss of quality.