Polymers are some of the most commonly used materials in medical device manufacturing. Characterization of the relevant properties is key to ensure their quality and performance standards.

Medical grade polymer testing is integral to device development, improvement, and failure analysis investigations. With an experienced eye on current regulatory specifications, Element’s highly qualified polymer experts have the expertise to help you improve and qualify your materials and products.

In addition to standard polymer characterization, we have developed techniques and capabilities specific to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including:

  • Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) of water-soluble polymers/excipients
  • Gelatin bloom strength
  • Pre-filled syringe extrusion force
  • Syringe break and glide force
  • Particulate counting and identification
    Development of custom testing programs
  • 510(k) programs to compare medical devices to predicate devices
  • Medical patch adhesion strength
  • Actuation force
  • Chemical exposure testing (e.g. cleaners and antimicrobials)
  • Evaluation of tissue adhesives

Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy for material identification 

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) for material thermal properties (Tg, Tm, thermal transitions in protein-based devices, residual cure) 

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) for filler content and deformulation 

Mechanical testing – Tensile, Compressive, Flexural, Density, Hardness, Melt Flow 

Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) for morphology and elemental analysis 

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) for the crystal structure of drugs in combination polymer/drug devices 

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) for Molecular Weight (MW) and Molar Mass Distribution (MWD) of polymers


The Element advantage

Element is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 through A2LA and the Standards Council of Canada and is regularly inspected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada. Our polymer scientists are experienced across a range of medical devices, including Class I, II, and III devices.

As a comprehensive medical device testing partner, you’ll enjoy the benefit of a single source supplier for all of your testing needs, from feasibility and R&D to product development and production quality control. We offer a full suite of medical device testing, including mechanical testing, product qualification, material characterization and failure analysis.

For more information about our medical grade polymer testing, contact us today.


Our team of over 9,000 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.