One of the greatest benefits that advanced manufacturing techniques have brought to the field of medicine is in the form of medical device coatings. Patients that must wear devices are susceptible to a variety of problems, the least of which is discomfort. Infection is a huge issue for these patients, so coatings are an important part in stopping the spread of disease. Here are some medical device coatings, and some thoughts on how they have changed the world of medicine.
A sputter deposition system can be used to apply a lubricant to medical devices to slip into a patient’s body with ease. A catheter is the most obvious example for the type of device that might benefit from this kind of coating. The lubricant is designed to reduce the kinetic friction that comes from wearing a device for long periods, which means the patient barely feels anything.
When devices come into contact with bodily fluids, patients run the risk of infection. Antimicrobial coatings help to fight the bacteria that can invade a patient’s body through the insertion of a device. Without this coating, external bacteria would invade the body and cause harm to the patient.
Some devices function best when they get wetter, so hydrophilic coatings are useful when a device needs to conduct fluids. These coatings are also subject to FDA standards governing how they can be used.
Device coatings help shorten recovery times and improve the outlook of patients with serious medical conditions. As this technology becomes cheaper to produce, it will help a wider variety of parients world wide.