AKRON (Aug. 1)—ECI Medical Technologies Inc. will introduce a powder-free surgical glove in February or March to broaden its synthetic latex offerings. The glove will be a variation of the same proprietary thermoplastic elastomer material it now uses, ECI President Keith C. Boulter said July 31 at the International Latex Conference in Fairlawn, Ohio, sponsored by Rubber & Plastics News and Akron Dispersions Inc. However, "it will be a different polymer formulation that is much softer and stronger," he said. The company has been making a powdered synthetic glove, called Elastyren, along with several variations, Al DeMarco, ECI research and development manager. DeMarco said the new glove will be the second generation of a powder-free product the firm developed a few years ago. "Right now it's in the prototype stage," he said. ·This is a brand new and different range of polymer," Boulter said. "It has the physical properties of latex and feels like latex. But it's synthetic latex. We make only synthetic surgical gloves, both powder and powder free."