Sintered porous plastics are produced by heat sintering together porous polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene. The ability to produce plastics with a well-defined pore size distribution, combined with a material exhibiting excellent robustness and chemical resistance, has meant that sintered porous plastics have been widely adopted for a diverse range of applications. Typical industrial applications for sintered porous plastics include water and air filtration, sound attenuation, fragrance emanation, vacuum table beds, powder fluidisation and battery venting.
The authors describe how growing use of these materials in the stringently regulated life science and medical markets has necessitated development of fully traceable production processes to produce contamination-free porous plastics with very low levels of leachables. Further a leading edge application of sintered porous plastics is described. The Chromatrap® chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay kit uses a novel porous plastic material to which Protein A or Protein G are chemically bound. The Chromatrap® solid phase porous structure is able to capture antibody-tagged DNA-protein complexes associated with cancers. This technology is helping pave the way for development of targeted cancer treatments and personalised medicines.
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