21st December 2016, Weinheim
The Freudenberg Group is investing globally in the expansion of the company’s medical technology division with the aim of further extending its capabilities and ensuring market position. A new EUR 10 million development centre for innovative catheter technology has recently been built at Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, creating 200 jobs.
The company also made additional investments in Carpenteria, CA, where the site is to be expanded by around 930 square metres. In Shenzhen, China, Freudenberg is currently doubling its production capacities for medical technology.
The Group is investing in Germany too. At the Kaiserslautern site, Freudenberg is expanding its cleanroom production for the second time in recent history to optimally serve growing demand among its customers. Freudenberg innovations include biodegradable wound dressings, coatings for implants or seals for medical devices.
Cancer, diabetes and chronic wounds are among the world’s most common diseases today. Current figures from the Robert Koch Institute show that in Germany alone nearly half a million people are newly diagnosed with cancer each year. Coated catheters and stents are used in the treatment of people suffering from cancer of the esophagus and trachea. They dispense active agents in the body, precisely where they are needed, and also expand the affected vessels.
Around 7.2% of Germans suffer from diabetes. Because diabetes patients regularly need insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels, the disease reduces the quality of life of those affected. Portable insulin pumps make life easier for diabetes sufferers by removing the need for them to inject the insulin.
Freudenberg supplies sealing solutions for these mobile pumps. A special rod seal is designed to reduce friction, resulting in less wear. As a result, the minimum life expectancy of the pumps can be guaranteed for a period of four years, ensuring trouble-free application, the company reports.
According to the Federal Association of Medical Technology, around 2.7 million people in Germany suffer from chronic wounds. A variety of different dressing materials are available to doctors and nurses for medical wound care.
Gelatinizing nonwoven wound dressings from Freudenberg have been developed to help accelerate the healing process. The nonwoven material gels as soon as it comes into contact with other liquids. The dressings keep the wound moist and remain stable despite rapidly absorbing the wound secretion, which means that they sit firmly on the wound, according to the manufacturer.
In addition, Freudenberg offers innovative foam systems that are said to add special properties to conventional wound dressings, protecting the wound from drying out and consequently promoting healing.
Scaffolene technology is another Freudenberg innovation. These nonwovens are made from bioresorbable raw materials, which are degraded by the body. For the patient, this has the advantage of not having a second operation to remove the product.
Medicines, enzymes or growth hormones can all be incorporated into the nonwovens. These are used in the four therapy areas of biosurgery, bioactive wound healing, medication release and regenerative medicine. A European partner of Freudenberg, who has been manufacturing blood-stilling products for decades, introduced a product with scaffolene technology at the end of 2015. Further product launches are planned in the near future.