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Medical injection molding is a method used in the creation of plastic or silicone parts that are used for medical procedures. The plastic or silicone parts may include tools for surgery or parts that will be placed inside the human body. The process of medical injection molding differs from typical plastics injection molding, because of the medical element in the process.
Every step of the process of medical injection molding must be done with absolute sterility. A sterile environment must be created from the start of the process to the final application of the part. This is especially true in applications where the molded part is for use in a human body to either enhance or replace the function of a body part.
Using silicone or plastic parts made through medical injection molding has become more and more popular in applications that pertain to severed or amputated limbs. It allows the people who design the newest prosthetic instruments to utilize the materials that allow for the most lifelike function in prosthetic usage. Moving fingers, twisting wrists, or ankle joints that bend during running are some of the newest improvements that have been made to prosthetic technology, mainly through the use of plastics and silicones made through the process of injection molding. Molded parts allow for the exact sizing and specifications needed for these types of parts.
Medical injection molding is also used to create perfectly formed tool ends that are usable in medical applications, such as internal surgery instruments. Clamp ends and almost any tool that is not used for precision cutting can be made out of these types of parts, as long as they have been handled with the utmost sense of sterility and medical duty. If the instrument has become contaminated during the creation or the packaging or shipping process, it no longer can serve any medical use.
Due to medical injection molding, doctors and surgeons are able to skillfully remove entire limbs and later graft a new prosthetic onto the body and have it become more functional than had been imagined previously in the medical community. To have a plastic and metal arm grafted where an arm has been lost, and to have that arm act almost the same as the arm that has been removed, is a direct result of the advances made in both the medical and the plastics and thermoplastics fields. These advances lead many to believe that things like silicone hearts are on the horizon.