Instron brings a wealth of knowledge to the biomedical industry, serving as a strategic partner to companies of all sizes. Our equipment and services are primed to help you investigate new technologies and ensure product quality, all while maintaining the highest levels of data integrity and security. Being embedded in the biomedical industry for over 75 years, the technological, regulatory, and manufacturing challenges facing our customers have driven us to develop products and services to address their needs. These developments include specialized fixturing, compliant software, and automation capabilities. Our most valuable asset is our extensive customer network, which represents a wide range of medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, CDMO’s, universities, test houses, and startups.
Our customers are on the forefront of medical technological innovation, working to improve patient outcomes by developing new and better products. These companies are increasing the efficacy of minimally invasive treatments, developing the next generation of wearable sensors, and reimagining a future where surgical robots are commonplace in the operating room. In each case, Instron has helped build a robust mechanical testing program able to meet the requirements and overcome the hurdles of each step of the product development process.
The range of biomedical applications spans a vast array of therapeutic areas, bringing with it an extremely broad range of testing requirements. Various fixturing arrangements must be added to a universal testing system to properly hold or manipulate the test specimens and attain the necessary results. In many cases, international standards such as ISO or ASTM drive the ultimate design of these fixtures. Alternatively, many are custom designed specifically to the customer's device specifications. Our experience within the industry has helped create a catalog of grips and fixtures to accommodate the most common devices and meet the most frequently used standards. Our Engineered Solution Group is available to work with you to develop fixtures specific to your needs.View Biomedical Test Systems & Accessories
WEARABLE DEVICE TESTING
Trends in wearable technology follow those of the broader biomedical and electronics industries – devices are getting smaller, smarter, and easier to use. Wearables in healthcare have moved toward solutions that reduce the device profile, provide more integration with smartphone apps, and most importantly enable patients to receive their treatments at home instead of in a doctor's office. As this trend continues, manufacturers are working to develop robust test methods to mechanically evaluate all aspects of these devices and ensure they are performing as expected. In addition to testing the injection device components, manufacturers also face challenges in evaluating and selecting the adhesives for these products.
The pharmaceutical industry relies on mechanical testing to evaluate drug delivery systems and their associated packaging. Drug delivery systems can utilize dermal, subcutaneous, intramuscular, oral, or nasal routes and come in a variety of different packaging formats. Universal testing systems are used throughout the product development process to help identify suitable materials, evaluate delivery mechanisms, perform design validation, validate manufacturing processes, and enable proper QC measures. The most common applications are related to needle based injection systems and involve either functional testing based on industry standards such as ISO 11040 and ISO 11608 or usability testing of products to supplement human factor testing.Learn More
Medical consumables represent the largest subsection of biomedical testing and include a wide variety of single-use products such as surgical tools, PPE, wound closure products, specimen collection products, and more. These products are typically either FDA class I or II medical devices, which, despite having less stringent test requirements, are produced in such large quantities that care must be taken to accommodate high volume testing. To compensate for the larger volumes, throughput and repeatability become critical test requirements, addressed through specialized fixturing, efficient operator workflows, and intuitive software.
For both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, the market for interventional vascular devices has grown exponentially. Products such as guidewires and catheters are essential for the mapping of vasculature, removal of blockages, and placement of stents or implants. Assessing the material and coating properties of these products is essential for ensuring they will perform as expected in vivo. Testing in vitro can also be accomplished using turnkey systems built to mimic real world conditions with anatomical models, measuring the forces related to the deployment and removal of these devices. Implanted devices such as replacement valves and stents are also tested for long term durability using dynamic systems to validate the long terms responses of these products to body conditions.
Biomaterials include the materials found in nature, the human body, and other animal species. These materials can be hard tissues such as bone or dental enamel or soft, such as tendons and ligaments. Biological variation and environmental factors affect the mechanical properties of these materials. They are also anisotropic and nonhomogeneous, making them challenging materials to re-create or engineer outside of nature.
Orthopedic implants are implants that support the skeletal system. These include bone screws, plates, rods and pins for fracture repair, as well as entire artificial hips, knees, and spinal components. Orthopedic implants can be temporarily inserted into the body to assists a patient’s healing, or can be inserted into the body with the intent that the implant will outlive the patient. Depending on their use, orthopedic implants are typically considered to be Class II or Class III medical devices by the FDA and require a range and combination of static and fatigue mechanical testing.
Dental materials are typically composed of metal, elastomers, and polymers. Restorative and prosthodontic devices are often composed of multiple materials that require mechanical testing to determine how these materials interact to form the finished device. A dental implant is a metal post, typically titanium, that replaces the patient’s entire tooth. Fatigue testing represents the most common form of mechanical testing performed on dental implants, following international standards to evaluate the expected wear of repeated use.
The concept of data integrity is foundational to the manufacturing of biomedical products and drives the quality programs that ensure product safety. Globally, there are numerous regulatory frameworks that aim to define what data integrity is and how it should be ensured, whether dictated by the FDA, GMP, or other national or international bodies.
Automation represents an opportunity for growth across a range of applications and throughout the entire product development process. In small and mid volume QC labs, the pains of operator turnover and hiring difficulties are driving the adoption of automation technology such as cobots and XY stages to improve lab efficiency. Even within R&D or device verification labs, automation can ensure that test engineers and other skilled employees are able to focus their time on value added activities rather than manual testing. As companies move to device production, achieving full in-line mechanical testing is a critical lever for improving manufacturing process control and reducing material waste or faulty products. Each instance of adding automation has the potential to improve lab efficiency, reduce variability, and simplify test procedures.Go To Automation