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The Significance of Medical Device Coatings

Written by: Denton Vacuum, LLC

Medical device coatings have positively impacted the medical field.

One exciting area of biomedicine is the development, and enhancement, of medical device coatings. These experimental products have revolutionized the way catheters and guidewires are utilized during invasive procedures. Prior to these coatings, medical devices were inserted into the human body without a proper buffer system that eases its way into the targeted area. Without a substance that bypasses the body’s natural defense system, the body will reject it causing an unknown amount of clots to develop around the area where the catheter lies.

The Reasons

Medical devices are coated for numerous reasons. The base substrate of the various devices is known to be a standard, stock coating that doesn’t demonstrate an exemplary ability to adapt within the body. The development of new coating structures gives the physician more flexibility and a wider range of options to work with. Essentially, an enhanced medical device coating gives additional properties that a normal substrate wouldn’t. This is done through a vacuum metallization process where the substrate undergoes a highly-pressurized procedure.

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Each type of coating performs a variety of tasks dependent upon what the procedure requires. This is because body types are different and need a certain type of lubricant that will help the device slide in easier and bypass the body’s defense system. There have been many cases of clots occurring that lead to fatalities. Some devices are even coated with a type of drug or compound that is designed to elute over a period of time. To create these types of coatings, various sputtering systems are utilized to create it from scratch.