In the medical field, patient safety is a top priority. Medical devices are routinely used in every area of patient care and must be sterilized before and after use. Many of these devices require medical coatings to be used on them which must allergy free and resistant to bacteria to eliminate the possibility of infection. Depending on the type of device that a coating will be used on, there are different specifications to meet the need at hand.
This type of coating is used on devices such as catheters, which must be lubricated before insertion to avoid being painful for the patient. Lubricants should be compatible with blood and not flake or expand when they come in contact with water or other fluids. They should also meet FDA standards since they are often used on medical devices that are placed inside of a patient during care.
Antimicrobial coatings must be used to sanitize medical devices that come in contact with a patient’s bodily fluids in order to prevent the transfer of external bacteria into a patient’s body. These coatings must meet the same standards that lubricants do, however, they must also be able to prohibit microbe absorption and not transfer anything from one source to another in order to constantly retain a sterile environment. Many of these coatings have release functions that fight bacteria, which is especially important for a patient who is being treated for an infectious disease, such as staph or E.coli.
Hydrophilic Surface Coatings
This type of coating is designed for use on tubes and other medical equipment that must remain wetter than other devices. A hydrophilic surface coating helps to bind water onto the tubes, and like all other coatings, it must meet FDA bio-compatibility standards.
Parylene Conformal Coatings
This coating is especially useful for extremely small devices since it doesn’t allow for pinhole leaks and provides the highest level of protection for life-saving devices. Unlike other coatings, parylene is applied at room temperature and goes on as a film. It doesn’t require a curing cycle and is excellent for use in everything from hearing aids to pacemakers, and it’s safe for use within the body.
Coatings provide protection against infection and bacteria. They play an essential role in the field of medicine. Without applying a coating on medical equipment before use, a totally sterile environment would be hard to obtain.