What are Medical Device Coatings?

Medical devices are used in a wide range of applications in the healthcare industry today. These items are used as tools, implants, and various types of apparatus to improve the quality of health, and medical device coatings are absolutely essential to their success.

Special Needs

Coatings for medical devices must meet stringent standards. After all, it is vital for all medical tools and items to be completely clean and sanitized. Otherwise the chance for infection would be greatly increased, especially for implants and surgical tools.

Types of Medical Device Coatings

Allergies are another important consideration, and coatings must perform in corrosive environments. Because coatings for medical devices must meet such high standards, there are only a few methods available. Here are the three basic types of medical device coatings you will find today.

Antibacterial Coatings

Some devices are implanted directly into the body. As a result they come in contact with a variety of bodily fluids like urine and blood. Modern medical device coatings must be able to prevent microorganisms from transferring to the body. Special conditions must be maintained in the coating process to insure no solvents are left behind on the coatings.

Modern polymers are often used for plastic devices. However, many industries are taking advantage of the antimicrobial properties of precious metals like silver. Silver has been used for many years as an antibacterial agent. In fact, the ancient Phoenicians coated their water containers with silver for cleanliness. Tiny nano particles of silver are used in the process of making special wound dressings. Also, a compound known as silver zeolite is commonly employed in the food packing industry. Copper is also used for its antimicrobial properties.


Many medical device coatings must have good lubricating properties. For instance, catheters must contain some type of lubrication and if it is already in the coating, it is more efficient and safer. A medical grade silicone is sometimes used and some very effective synthetically produced fluoropolymers are becoming popular.


“Hydrophilic” means something with a fondness for water. A hydrophilic molecule attracts and easily blends with water, making the solution a more effective solvent. However, this molecule also repels things like oil, grease, and dirt, making it excellent for use where cleanliness is mandatory. This is especially helpful for catheters, temporary implants, and guide wires.

The medical device coatings industry serves many businesses and it is important to choose a company with experience and expertise in these matters. It is especially important for the business developing new and innovative products for healthcare.

ProPlate provides custom solutions for medical device coatings. We have been in business since 1983 and serve a wide range of industries. Visit us on the Web today at http://proplate.com/ for more details.

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