Small Things That Make a Big Difference: Minimally Invasive Surgery and Honeywell Spectra Medical Grade Bio Blue Fiber

Small Things That Make a Big Difference: Minimally Invasive Surgery and Honeywell Spectra® Medical Grade Bio Blue Fiber

Around the world, Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is quickly becoming the standard in surgical procedures. Small incisions are replacing large openings, improving patient outcomes and cutting costs.

MIS is associated with less postoperative pain, less scarring, fewer operative complications, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries. It’s little wonder, then, that the MIS-related market is already estimated to be worth $60.6 billion – and that it’s forecast to reach $94.4B by 2030. MIS is now the default for various orthopedic, cardiovascular and endovascular surgeries, among others. 

To succeed, however, MIS needs the right technologies. One that is having a significant impact on the medical industry is ultra-high weight molecular polyethylene (UHMWPE). UHMWPE fibers are the strongest and lightest available, combining high strength and low density. They also have high resistance to chemicals, water and ultraviolet (UV) light, and possess superior abrasion and internal friction characteristics that make UHMWPE ideal for various medical applications. UHMWPE fibers are especially useful in MIS, particularly in the orthopedic, cardiovascular, endovascular, and robotics markets.

UHMWPE has traditionally come in white, but there is a growing need to help surgeons differentiate between multiple suture sets and improve visibility. As such, UHMWPE fibers in colors are a growing market.

Small but mighty

Honeywell is strategically focused on growing its life sciences portfolio, and our Spectra® Medical Grade (MG) Bio UHMWPE fibers are integral to this, helping meet the needs of the growing MIS market.

These market trends have now culminated in the introduction of the newest addition to our portfolio: Blue fiber. Its blue hue makes it stand out clearly in any surgery, while its ultra-thin form and ultra-high strength mean it’s ideally suited for MIS where size matters, but so does performance.

Spectra® MG Bio fiber is ultra-lightweight yet 15 times stronger than steel and three times stronger than polyester. It also provides better resistance to chemicals, fatigue and abrasion compared to any other synthetic medical grade fiber. And it has been manufactured in accordance with ISO 13485, a certification that helps improve processes and ensure quality consistency by defining requirements and standards that meet medical device industry requirements.

It's built for incisions getting smaller but also for devices that are getting smarter. Such materials will be integral to new technologies, such as robotics and smart implants. With them, the future looks bright – and colorful.

While this is a small addition to the Spectra MG Bio portfolio, we believe it can make a big difference, providing a vital visual aid to better differentiate between multiple suture sets in complex surgeries. With color contrast, the new fiber enables healthcare professionals to operate accurately and efficiently, promoting safety and comfort for patients. And that is no small achievement.

Learn more about the Spectra MG Bio fiber portfolio, its applications and impact. 

Ken West
President, Honeywell Advanced Materials