The technology of surface medical coatings is changing rapidly with the method of applying them changing almost as fast as the new types of coatings being used. Nanocomposite technology and polymer-brush coatings add increased options to the types of materials available through product developers. This results in more biocompatible coating that is much easier to sterilize and is highly adaptable to a variety of uses. The biocompatibility of these medical coatings is extremely important in the area of medical equipment that will be either permanently or even temporarily implanted within the patient's body. It is also equally crucial to those pieces of equipment that will be inserted into the body such as catheters and the various needles and tubes used within the surgical and hospital setting. Coating these items is the best and most obvious solution to allow them to be used in a multitude of applications without the risk of reaction or interaction with the instruments surroundings. A perfect example of these types of coatings would be the coating on the inside of a stent that reduces the effects of medications but also is designed to reduce the risk of plaque accumulating in the stent causing arterial blockage.
There are also coatings known as a lotus coating, this coating creates a hydrophobic self-cleaning surface that behaves much like the lotus plant in nature does. By using this type of coating the need for a routine of active cleaning of the surface may also help with overall sterility. One on the newest technologies in medical coatings is the polymer brush method, which are leading to the development of many new possibilities. By using single layer coating of specific polymer chains it is possible to modify the "molecular hairs" of a surface, in this way utilize the bio-contact properties of a surface and apply a coating that is only a few nanometers thick. In doing this it is possible to create a surface coating that has very specific features.
Antifouling is one of the features of these types of medical coatings and has a broad range of applications throughout the medical field. They can be used to increase the level of biocompatibility, reduce the risk of tissue and bacterial adhesion and maintain the overall cleanliness of instruments such as catheters, ophthalmic devices and intrauterine and contraceptive devices. Internally they can be used in stents to slow down the accumulation of plaque and on surgical pins to allow them to be inserted with ease and to be removed when the time comes without them adhering to the bone. medical coatings can also be used for the opposite reason, instead of preventing things from adhering to the equipment the coatings are designed to make certain things actually adhere to them.
In the case of a stent two coatings can be used one is the antifouling coating to prevent a plaque build-up, the other is to allow the medication used to prevent clots from forming to adhere to the inside of the stent for time release treatment. Surface Solutions Group has over 100 years of collective experience in designing coatings exclusively for the medical field. Their ultra modern facility has been created using the latest green technology to provide an extremely sterile and antimicrobial environment to provide the latest in medical coatings for your every need.