Innovative Plastics Cause a ‘Brain Freeze’

Wed, 07/06/2011 - 6:54am
Kevin Dunay


The Project: Find a material that will offer durability and protection for a portable therapeutic hypothermia system used by emergency personnel.

The Solution: A PC/ABS plastic was used for a number of components in the device since it offered impact strength, flame and chemical resistance, and light weight.


Therapeutic hypothermia administered rapidly following cardiac arrest can help improve survival and limit long-term neurological damage. Novel intra-nasal cooling technology from BeneChill now offers emergency medical personnel a way to initiate cooling of the head in the field sooner and more effectively than with traditional methods.

Therapeutic hypothermia is the technique of lowering a person’s body temperature to help reduce the risk of injury to the brain following a period of insufficient blood flow resulting from cardiac arrest, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.

BeneChill’s lead product, the RhinoChill IntraNasal Cooling System, uses a non-invasive nasal catheter that sprays a rapidly evaporating coolant liquid into a patient’s nasal cavity located directly under the brain, enabling earlier and more effective administration of therapeutic hypothermia.

The RhinoChill System achieves increased portability and toughness by utilizing Bayer MaterialScience LLC Bayblend FR3010 polycarbonate/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC/ABS) plastic in many device components, including the control panel cover, control knob, battery compartment and cover, and bottle holder.

“We chose this material for its impact strength, flame resistance, chemical resistance, and because it offers a lightweight alternative to metal,” said Del Doty, engineering manager, BeneChill. “The material can also be pre-colored, which eliminates the need for secondary painting operations, reducing production costs.”

Bayblend FR3010 plastic is a flame-retardant blend of Makrolon PC and ABS that is antimony, bromine, and chlorine-free. Bayblend FR3010 plastic is noted for its combination of high impact strength, high heat resistance, and mechanical performance. The material is naturally opaque, can be pre-colored, and is supplied in pellet form for a wide variety of injection molding applications.


The RhinoChill IntraNasal Cooling System utilizes lightweight Bayer MaterialScience LLC Bayblend FR3010 PC/ABS blend in many device components, including the control panel cover, control knob, battery compartment and cover, and bottle holder.

Bayer worked closely with BeneChill to provide the optimal material for components of this amazing technology, which provides portability and adaptability beyond the walls of a hospital.

A recently published European clinical study has shown that the RhinoChill System administered in the field enabled head temperature to reach target several hours earlier than in patients cooled in the hospital. Neurologically intact survival was significantly improved in patients where CPR was initiated within ten minutes of cardiac arrest, compared with patients who received hospital cooling alone.

Recently updated guidelines on resuscitation jointly published by the American Heart Association and European Resuscitation Council recommend routine use of therapeutic hypothermia, and advise that starting cooling during cardiac arrest may be most beneficial.

BeneChill, Inc., the company which developed the RhinoChill IntraNasal Cooling System, has partnered with Physio-Control, Inc. to launch the system in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg during the second quarter of 2011. The two companies will also work together towards making the system available in the United States.

Kevin Dunay is the market segment leader for the medical and consumer segments of the polycarbonates business for Bayer MaterialScience LLC. He is responsible for marketing and new business development of polycarbonate products in North America. Dunay can be reached at 800-662-2927or


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