Plastics Enable Realization of ‘Safety Conscious’ Device
GE Plastics’ Noryl and Ultem resin grades were chosen for the 12-use E-Z Pen electrosurgical pencil from Megadyne Medical Products. Lightweight and ergonomically designed with both 10- and 15-foot, kink-resistant cords for easier, more comfortable handling, E-Z Pen pencils are the only product on the market offering patented E-Z Clean non-stick tips that allow surgeons to make cleaner cuts. The versatility and variety of GE’s portfolio of materials for medical device applications, combined with GE value-added services such as color-matching, enabled Megadyne to meet the specific requirements of this application.
One of the noteworthy features of the E-Z Pen is its patented lockout mechanism that is automatic with sterilization. This mechanism, located inside the electrical connector, clicks a gear each time the unit is sterilized. After 12 uses, the lockout plunger fully extends to prevent further use of the connector and avoid a potential safety hazard. It does not require the user to track how many times the pencil has been used. This prevents possible injury to the clinician or patient by locking out the pencil from use before materials degrade to a dangerous or unvalidated level.
“We created the 12-use E-Z Pen to provide hospitals and surgical centers with a cost-effective, reusable tool for electrosurgery incorporating a unique safety feature that prevents additional use after the lifespan has expired,” said Michael Hintze, vice president of marketing for Megadyne. “The components of this device required a variety of different materials that could provide very specific properties. We turned to GE Plastics because they lead the industry in breadth and depth of products for the medical device sector, and offer a number of invaluable services. GE’s materials helped us bring this high-performance, safe, and effective new E-Z pen to market.”