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13 Oct 2008 • by Natalie Aster

SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. -- Deerfield Urethane, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer MaterialScience LLC (BMS) and one of the leading suppliers of custom, made-to-order thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and specialty elastomer film and sheet, is proud to announce its collaboration with BHS International (BHS), a breast health company co-founded by Olivia Newton-John, in the development and production of the Liv® Aid breast self-exam aid.

The Liv Aid is a patented, FDA-cleared medical device designed to assist women in performing breast self-examinations. Both Deerfield and BHS discussed the requirements for such a device and Deerfield designed and engineered a unique Dureflex® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film specifically for the Liv Aid product based on a proprietary formulation. The TPU film helps make the Liv Aid a more user-friendly device due to its softness, comfortable feel and durability.

"For such an important project, BHS was seeking a leading material science company that could provide a customized solution tailored to the needs of the application," said Shaun Gaus, President and CEO, Deerfield Urethane. "Our 30 years of materials expertise, combined with our proven track record of customer-focused support, made Deerfield Urethane uniquely qualified for this project and set us apart from all other TPU film producers."

Deerfield provided BHS with support in all phases of the product development process, ranging from the development and supply of a custom, color-matched TPU film, the recommendation of a complementary BMS TPU resin that was chosen for the injection-molded handle, fabricator recommendations, advice on exploring medical device testing requirements and recommendations on possible production models.

Most notably, by working with Deerfield and BMS, BHS was able to achieve greater control of the supply chain. The resulting improvements in efficiencies have allowed BHS to significantly reduce unit costs, thus making it more feasible to bring the Liv Aid to a mass audience. To coincide with October "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," BHS has launched an international campaign in conjunction with the Curves fitness franchise to distribute 1 million units of the Liv Aid this month.

"Deerfield worked tirelessly by our side to get the look and feel of the Liv Aid just right, and through their hard work and continuous support, I am now able to achieve my personal goal of getting a high-quality, user-friendly breast self-exam aid into the hands of millions of women across the globe," said Newton-John, who credits her own breast self-exam as the first step of her eventual diagnosis, then treatment, of breast cancer 16 years ago. "For women, being active in your personal breast health is an important aspect of living a healthy life, and the Liv Aid greatly enhances a woman's ability to correctly perform breast self-examination."

Dureflex TPU film was BHS' material of choice for the Liv Aid device because of its unique combination of properties, including durability, flexibility, elasticity and softness. The film's softness gives the Liv Aid a natural, as opposed to "stiff and plastic-like," feel. This softness may also help when applying the device during an exam, as the material cradles the hand and should facilitate a more comfortable self-exam.

"At Bayer MaterialScience and our subsidiary Deerfield Urethane, we are proud to support BHS as they work to raise international awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer," said Gregory S. Babe, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation and President and CEO of Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "Our material solution, coupled with our technical expertise and customer support is a good illustration of how day in and day out, the employees of Bayer are fulfilling our company's mission of providing 'Science for a Better Life'."


Deerfield Urethane, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer MaterialScience LLC, is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of custom, made-to-order Dureflex® brand polyurethane and specialty elastomer film and sheet used in numerous industrial sectors. The company offers a unique combination of product and process development capabilities, film and sheet extrusion technologies, material science expertise and market/application knowledge. Deerfield Urethane is ISO 9001 registered and operates in a 140,000 square foot facility in Western Massachusetts (90 minutes West of Boston, MA and 60 minutes North of Hartford, CT).


Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 15,400 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2007 sales of 10.4 billion euros. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2007 net sales of 8.1 billion euros and employed 16,800 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

Source: Deerfield Urethane, Inc.