New way of manufacturing superhydrophobic surfaces for precision drug delivery

Moulded three-dimensional components with superhydrophobic surfaces help ensure that doses of medications are administered with high precision.Hydrophobic_surface

A technique and processing system for the manufacture of superhydrophobic surfaces via injection moulding has been developed at the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) at RWTH Aachen. The manufacture of a sample component will be demonstrated at the 26th International Plastics Colloquium on March 7–8, 2012, in Aachen.

Superhydrophobic surfaces, which exhibit a self-cleaning effect, offer great potential for new devices in biotechnology and medical technology. To manufacture large volumes of such devices economically, it is desirable to build the surface functionalization directly into the component-moulding process. The process and system for doing this was developed at the IKV within the scope of a project undertaken by the excellence cluster Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries at RWTH Aachen.

The component being produced in live demonstration at the March colloquium is a key-shaped vessel that can be drained absolutely completely after being filled with water. Manufacture of this three-dimensional component with its functional surface is performed in a single process step using a method suitable for the product’s mass. Possible applications for superhydrophobic surfaces are found in medical technology in situations where high-precision dosing of medications is called for. This precision can be guaranteed by the functional surfaces. Manufacture of the demonstrator will be

The demonstration of the process that will be taking place at the plastics colloquium in Aachen, involving full manufacture of a sample component by an operating production system, is part of an available tour of the IKV.

For further information: Institut für Kunststoffverarbeitung (IKV) an der RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.


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