Global Trends

MediSource Asia


Industry News
Global Trends
Events Calendar
Web Links

Web Gallery

Career Centre

Advertising  Info


Trendsetter in the field of nanomedicine and more at ComPaMED 2006


"Germany is far ahead of the competition and will still be defending this lead in ten years time. However, Asia should catch up slightly"


The Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE - Verband der Elektrotechnik, Electronik and Informationstechnik, Frankfurt am main) in a recent study, the annual Innovation Monitor report, has concluded.


This any many other issues will be highlighted during ComPaMED, the leading international trade fair for the supplier market for medical products will be running, for the 15th time, parallel to the world's largest medical trade fair, MEDICA, this year from 15 to 17 November 2006 in Dusseldorf. "Over 320 exhibitors from 25 nations have registered to take part.


Nanoscale active ingredients, nanocomposites as dental prosthesis materials or resorbable nanocrystal bone cements have already been successfully introduced to the market. Further more, experts expect that with the aid of nanomedicine it will be possible to develop techniques for the early diagnosis of diseases. Many even think that this new approach has the potential to realise the break through to preventive intervention.


Mobile laboratories the size of a shoe box


Mobile laboratories have been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM, Munich). This type of device could soon be found in every medical practice, making blood tests considerably faster and more efficient. The key components of this system is a biochip, which can run up to 100 immunoassays simultaneously, in a diagnosis device for human antibodies. The chip is only the size of a bank card and can be produced as a disposable article. "The serological results are available after a maximum of 2 hours. This will not only spare patients from those exhausting trips, but lead to faster diagnostic findings and therefore to targeted treatment", enthuses Karl Neumeier, the responsible project leader at the IZM.


According to a study carried out by the VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, 54 percent of worldwide nanomedical industrial activities are at present concerned with active ingredient transport systems. A sales volume of approximately five billion dollar is being generated by the products that are already available in this field. The second largest field after the transport of active ingredients is diagnostics, 17 percent of which is related to in vitro and 7 percent related to in vivo systems. Orthopaedic products follow in third place with 19 percent. Particularly important here is the surface modification of implants on a nanomolecular level for the improvement of bioavailability.


Ever more synthetics in medical technology


Still important focuses of attention at ComPaMED are new materials or applications for active ingredients that are already known. Higher life expectancy and the growth of home care are leading to an increasing demand for ergonomic, user friendly designs, such as the reduction in weight of wearable devices. There is a continuing trend in miniaturisation and thin-walled designs, which save materials and costs. With this is in mind, GE-Plastics (Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands) has developed a whole group of polycarbonates, which meet the considerable demands placed on modern active ingredients with the aid of intelligent copolymer technology: demands including impact resistance, repeatable autoclaving, transparency and biocompatibility.


Even "common synthetics" such as polythylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which achieve the highest sales volumes worldwide, have a challenging niche market in the areas of medicine and pharmacy. With an annual global growth of almost ten percent, this is also the market segment with the most vitality. An example of this development is provided by the blister packs made from PP, which provide for the presentation and protection of the product as well as facilitating easy removal from a mould.


A life cycle analysis carried out by the University of Delft verified the advantages of the PP mono-blister system over against conventional packaging structure with regard to recycling, energy consumption and ecological compatibility.


Safer dosage of anaesthetics


"Precision components are essential to medical technology", says Dr. Uwe Kleinkes, a member of the IVAM Microtechnology Network, in reference to another focal point of the ComPaMED exhibition. The wrong dosage of anaesthetics, for example, could have serious consequences for the patient concerned. A new flow sensor technology gives additional assistance to doctors in the administration of dosages. The thermal flow-sensor from Sensirion is on a single chip and connected to a precise evaluation circuit and a memory. The delicate signals are thereby amplified and digitalised. The silicon chips are used in the mass flow measurement of liquids and gasses, and also for the administration of dosages of anaesthetics, for monitoring patients' respiration or for handling liquid samples of the smallest quantities in diagnostics and analyses. The resolution of the systems reaches the nanoliter range.


Among other things, biochips, from Philips Research Health Care Devices and Instrumentation, which can detect tiny quantities of substances in bodily fluids.