Polyimide processed products

The Premier Material for Medical Devices: An Overview of Polyimide Plastic

Polyimide (PI) plastic has emerged as the premier material for many medical device applications requiring high heat resistance, biocompatibility, and flexibility. With its unique set of properties, polyimide enables the construction of smaller, more resilient, and higher performing medical equipment and disposables.

PI plate and bar

Key Properties of Polyimide Plastics

Polyimide plastics stand out for their combination of mechanical, thermal, chemical and electrical properties that make them ideal for the demands of medical device engineering.

High Heat Resistance

A major advantage of polyimide is its ability to withstand exposure to high temperatures up to 500°F. This high heat performance allows polyimide parts and products to endure repeated sterilization cycles and autoclaving procedures. Medical equipment like endoscopic tools can be reliably sterilized and disinfected without damage to polyimide components.


Polyimide's inertness and non-reactive nature also makes it chemically biocompatible. The stable polyimide molecule will not interact with or leach chemicals into bodily fluids and tissues. This makes it well-suited for blood contact applications like vascular catheters and dialysis equipment as well as implantable devices.

Strength and Flexibility

With a high tensile strength and flexibility, polyimide can be fabricated into thin-walled tubing like catheter material while still resisting kinking or crimping during use. Polyimide's combination of strength and flexibility also allows production of smaller diameter tubing, enabling less invasive medical procedures.

Radiation and Solvent Resistance

The molecular stability of the polyimide polymer also confers resistance to gamma radiation and solvents for sterilization purposes. Polyimide maintains its properties and performance after repeated radiation or ethylene oxide sterilization cycles. This allows easy processing and sterilization of finished polyimide medical supplies and components.

Processed parts of special materials

Polyimide Plastic Applications in Medical Devices

The unique attributes of polyimide make it the material of choice for a broad range of medical applications:

Catheter Tubing

Polyimide is commonly used to construct the thin flexible lumens of vascular catheters as well as surgical tools like laparoscopic graspers. The smooth inner bore, high flexibility and kink resistance of polyimide catheters improves patient comfort and reduces vascular trauma. Polyimide's biocompatibility also minimizes thrombus formation during procedures.

High Temperature Gaskets and Seals

Polyimide's thermal endurance makes it ideal for gaskets and seals meant for high temperature sterilization. Autoclavable stopcocks, check valves and pressure sensors rely on polyimide gaskets that maintain a tight seal and prevent fluid leaks during repeated steam cycling.

Flexible Printed Circuits for Implants

Implantable medical devices like pacemakers and neurostimulators utilize polyimide-based flexible printed circuits (FPC) and interconnects. Polyimide offers electrical isolation, miniaturization and flexibility for the compact wiring in implants where failure is not an option.

Cell Culture Substrates

The inertness and optical clarity of polyimide lends itself for use as cell culture substrates in bioreactors and microfluidic devices. Polyimide allows high resolution imaging for cell growth observation and tissue engineering applications.

PI sheets and rods

Benefits of Using Polyimide Plastic in Medical Devices

The unique benefits provided by polyimide plastics include:

Withstand Repeated Sterilization and Autoclaving

Polyimide's robust thermal properties means medical equipment can undergo the harshest sterilization methods like autoclaving while maintaining integrity and performance. Devices have longer service lives even after hundreds of high temperature cleaning cycles.

Reduce Friction and Prevent Crimping in Catheters

The smoothness and lubricity of polyimide tubing provides little friction against vessel walls, reducing abrasion and improving patient comfort. Polyimide's combination of stiffness and flexibility also minimizes catheter crimping while allowing smaller diameters.

Improve Biocompatibility of Devices

Polyimide's inertness means it provokes little tissue reaction when implanted in the body or used for circulating bodily fluids. This biocompatibility provides major advantages over materials like PVC and silicone.

Polyimide plastic provides an ideal solution for the demanding conditions of the medical device industry. As polyimide gains further adoption, it will enable the next generation of smaller, more resilient and biocompatible devices that advance patient care and outcomes. With their premier heat and chemical resistance, polyimide plastics will continue improving lifesaving medical technology.

Polyimide processed products
If you are interested in using PI Plastic in your project or want to know more information, welcome to harass us. We are a professional supplier and manufacturer of all kinds of plastic custom processing and production, with a professional team of engineers and precision equipment, we can provide you with customized plastic solutions that meet your specifications and budget. We are happy to serve you and help you fulfill your needs. Do you need a free quote or help with any questions or materials?
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