Ultraviolet light is key to many modern analytical and diagnostic test methods in healthcare, life sciences, and chemistry. But without UV transparent materials, many forms of analysis would be impossible. Fortunately, Polyplastics and TOPAS Advanced Polymers provide a line of glass-clear, medical grade plastics with high UV transmission so that tests utilizing UVA, UVB, and with the right grade, even UVC down to 220nm can be carried out with confidence. No other plastic material can deliver this level of UV transparency performance.
Pure and Clear
TOPAS® cyclic olefin copolymer, or COC, is an incredibly pure polymer - in fact, it's purer than most grades of medical glass. Unlike glass, it has a non-ionic, inert surface to minimize reactivity, denaturation, agglomeration, delamination and other traditional glass concerns. And when it comes to maintaining purity, TOPAS medical grade plastics can be sterilized via all common methods. Leachables and extractables are extremely low. Reduce risk and increase performance by maintaining the benign, protective environment that TOPAS COC-based devices provide.
Medical grades of TOPAS COC are extremely clear, and are optically suitable for replacing glass in many applications. The risk of breakage, which can result in device failure and product loss, is greatly reduced when using a medical grade plastic rather than glass. Light weight is another advantage of COC, of course, as is the ability to create more sophisticated and complex designs than glass or other polymers.
Consistent Properties for Reliable Performance
Many classes of polymers are sensitive to moisture, meaning that when humidity changes, parts may suffer subtle shifts in dimension and other properties. TOPAS COC is unaffected by moisture, and because most grades are 100% amorphous, dimensional accuracy is not affected by crystallization as many plastics can be. When precise and consistent dimensions are essential in a UV transparency application, TOPAS COC is the safe choice for tight tolerance components.
The family of TOPAS COC medical plastics includes grades with heat resistance up to 170C. In healthcare applications, temperature resistance is often important for steam sterilization of devices. Diagnostic devices employing PCR technology may be designed to operate at 90C to 110C. Wearables may need to perform in hot climates, or survive hot storage. With a family of medical resin grades delivering various levels of heat resistance, you can select the product that best matches your medical device needs.
Healthcare environments can be challenging to ordinary plastics. In particular, clinical analyses rely on materials as varied as alcohols, DMSO, acetone, acids, bases, and more. TOPAS COC is extremely resistant to these and other polar materials that can wreak havoc with many common plastics. This makes TOPAS COC the best UV transparent plastic for a growing list of diagnostic, microfluidic, and point-of-care products. UV transparent microplates, cuvettes and other disposables use TOPAS COC instead of PP, PS, PMMA, PVC or polycarbonate whenever high transmission is key to consistent results.
Many medical plastics are poor barriers to moisture and chemicals, leading to a short shelf life. TOPAS medical grade polymers have exceptional moisture barrier properties, and resist permeation by other substances as well, as noted above. In applications employing reagents, solvents, and advanced chemistry, accuracy and shelf life are extended with TOPAS COC UV transparent plastics.
Design with Detail
TOPAS COC medical grade polymers enable miniaturization of UV testing systems, eliminating the limitations of glass. New systems take advantage of the design freedom of TOPAS COC and its high UV transmission. With amazing detail reproduction, high flow for complex geometries, and excellent dimensional stability, it's become the clear choice for the compact, lightweight precision disposables and devices of tomorrow.. Details as small as micron scale are molded into TOPAS COC to enable technologies such as microfluidics in advanced analytical components.
Broad Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
The medical industry leadership position of TOPAS Advanced Polymers was recently demonstrated when TOPAS COC became the first commercial line of plastics to certify compliance with the new USP <661.1> standard. Follow the industry leader and rely on our USP Class VI / ISO 10993 series of medical grade materials for your next medical device. Please contact us for FDA Device Master File (MAF) and Drug Master File (DMF) information. Most grades of TOPAS COC also have broad compliance with global food packaging regulations.
Most TOPAS COC customers injection mold their UV transparent parts. In some cases, where a flexible product is desired, parts are assembled from flexible films made from TOPAS COC. For development of microfluidic devices, a 3D printing system is available from Dolomite to speed the design process. Developmental parts can also be machines from plaques or other stock shapes.
While TOPAS COC is highly transparent to UV, it is not particularly resistant to long term UV exposure, because UV stabilizers reduce ultraviolet transmission. We have optimized our medical polymers for the best available UV transparency by eliminating UV stabilizers, and thus we do not recommend use in repeat sterilization or other long term UV exposure applications. Single UV cycle applications such as diagnostics and analytical testing are our specialty and TOPAS COC medical grade polymer is the healthcare industry's top choice for these uses.