Biotechnology and Healthcare

One industry sector that increasingly demands precise information on pore size and related characteristics is biotechnology and healthcare. Considering the number of porous materials now used in this branch of science, in such a variety of advanced applications, it is not surprising that there is much interest in the instruments described on this website.

The structure of the pores and its effect on the behaviour of the material is important in such cases as organ culture and tissue growth substrates, artificial skin, arterial grafts, implants and drug delivery pouches. Filters, like those used in separating bacteria from bodily fluids, are perhaps among the most obvious examples of components in which determination of porosity is necessary.

When seeking to promote the growth of blood vessels, and ensuring sufficient flow of fluids, it is important to control pore size. Tissue in-growth needs a high porosity, while pore volume has a major bearing on the capacity for holding drugs. In all of these cases characterisation of porous structures is vital to meeting the needs of the technology.

With its comprehensive range of porometers, porosimeters and permeameters, PMI has much to contribute to these advances in science.

For accurate determination of pore diameter, pore throat diameter, largest pore diameter and pore distribution, PMI’s various porometers are the obvious answer. When the volume of the pores and the liquid permeability of the porous material need to be known, PMI’s liquid extrusion porosimeter will measure both characteristics. Importantly, the functioning of this instrument does not require use of mercury or any other toxic substance. Using one of PMI’s permeameters it is possible to determine liquid and gas permeability under compressed conditions or without compression.

Given that technological advances often create very small products, it is worth mentioning that PMI has developed specially customised holders for tiny samples and that its instruments are uniquely capable of testing components measuring just a few tenths of a millimetre or even less. PMI has also responded to the need for instruments which can function under differing conditions, as some of the items tested will disintegrate unless their chemical environment is right. These are just a few examples of the way in which PMI products match particular needs, but many other application-specific solutions are available on request.