Ensuring a safe gait
New rehabilitation aid made of BASF plastic for stroke patients
For its new product ActiGait® employed in rehabilitation medicine the manufacturer Otto Bock Healthcare is putting its trust in the plastic Terlux® 2802 HD with its BASF service package tailored to the needs of medical technology. The neurostimulator ActiGait gives people with ambulatory difficulties, as often occur after a stroke, a substantial improvement in their walking ability. The company used Terlux 2802 HD, a transparent ABS from BASF (MABS) for the housing and the internal parts of the externally worn control unit. HD stands for Health Care and Diagnostics.The plastic is sterilisable, resistant to chemicals and it is part of the PlasticsPlus™ range of the Styrenic Plastics Division.
Constancy of quality and high product purity
Neurodan, international research network and part of Otto Bock Health Care, together with their supplier of plastic parts – SP Medical – were looking for the optimum material for ActiGait. “It was primarily because of the service package offered by BASF in support of the use of Terlux HD in medical applications that we decided to use this plastic“, says Jan Guldberg, product manager at SP Medical. Basic building blocks of the service package are the intention not to change the formulation, product purity and various certificates (e.g. ISO 10993, USP Class VI). In the event of the formulation being modified – which could become necessary for instance due to a change in the law – BASF as raw materials producer will inform customers at least 36 months in advance. Thus the processor has the guarantee that the expenditure on testing and approvals needed for medical products will repay itself over the long term.
Reliable walking ability after strokes
After a stroke the person affected often finds that his ability to raise the foot through the ankle joint is restricted so that the tip of the foot is dragged over the ground. ActiGait allows these patients to raise the front of the foot and hence enables them to walk safely. The neurostimulator activates functioning nerve paths which the brain can no longer control and reactivates the paralyzed muscle by electrically en-coded movement information. A small electronic chip under the skin of the upper thigh sends out a movement pulse. At the level of the hollow of the knee a cable leads to the nerve controlling the muscle and is connected to it via an electrode. The muscle receives the pulse commanding it to contract and lifts the foot. The external control unit, which is made of Terlux 2802 HD, supplies the chip with energy and it is worn on a belt. A pressure sensor fastened under the foot controls the time intervals of stimulation while the patient is walking.
Otto Bock Healthcare and Neurodan
ActiGait was developed by Neurodan. Since 2005 Neurodan based in Aalborg in Denmark has belonged to Otto Bock Healthcare, Duderstadt, Germany, a globally active medical technology company.
PlasticsPlus and Terlux 2802 HD
Terlux 2802 HD with its special service package is a member of the PlasticsPlus product family. Under the general heading of PlasticsPlus BASF has put together a range of plastics specialties comprising high-performance styrenic plastics, biodegradable materials and foams. Wherever special requirements have to be met the PlasticsPlus experts and products offer an extraordinary degree of diversity, reliability, partnership and innovative solutions.
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