The manufacture of medical tools and devices is demanding because suppliers need to meet exceptionally high quality standards. In addition, medical devices must be created with patient safety as a central focus. Buyers such as hospitals also demand exceptional performance and long lifecycles. With these factors in mind, manufacturers often coat devices with thin, vacuum-deposited polymers. The coatings help safeguard patients’ tissues, extend the life of devices, and ease insertion and removal.
Coatings Help Protect Tissue
Companies that produce devices for medical use add coatings to products that include catheters, epidural probes, pacemakers, needles, stents, electrosurgical tools, epidural probes, and mandrels. The coatings reduce friction when items are implanted in the body. That protects tissues surrounding devices and reduces surgical trauma.
That protection is especially critical during procedures such as implantation of pacemakers and stents. Quality coatings are also biocompatible, so they will not irritate the body. Polymer coatings create a barrier for prosthetic hardware. They are non-toxic and resist fungal and bacterial growth.
Special Coatings Eliminate Corrosion
Devices are also made with protective coatings to improve their performance and extend their usable lives. Coatings such as Parylene resist chemical attack from inorganic reagents, acid, and organic solvents. They can be applied to products made of metals, silicone rubber, metals, and ceramics and provide excellent dielectric strength. Devices with high-grade coatings do not corrode in the body. Manufacturers also coat artificial joints and other implants to protect them from daily wear and extend the time between replacements.
Device Lubricity Is Increased
Companies that design coatings for medical apparatus also ensure their products increase lubricity. That means they are able to slide across tissue without causing irritation. While that is related to friction reduction, it has additional benefits. Devices with adequate lubricity do not require the use of extra coatings that might be retained by the body or cause a reaction. High levels of lubricity are required in devices like guidewires and catheters.
Devices used in medicine are usually coated with special materials that help prevent tissue damage. Coatings also extend device life and prevent them from corroding. In addition, coatings can make it easier to insert or remove devices from the body.