Conformal coatings are now found on many types of products and devices, and they often prove invaluable. The right coating will conform with microscopic precision to the contours of an item while protecting it and supporting it in other ways.
A substance called parylene, for instance, is now being used in many medical devices. Applying a parylene conformal coating can make an enormous difference, even to the point of saving lives that could otherwise be lost.
Coatings That Suit Many Medical Devices Very Well
Devices that need to be implanted in the human body must be designed to account for the many challenges inherent in that environment. Even materials, like stainless steel and titanium, that are regarded as generally compatible with the body frequently come up short in such situations.
In many cases, the best way to resolve such problems will be to apply a coating to a material that is chosen for other reasons. Coatings made from parylene that conform closely to medical devices excel with regard to:
- Biological stability. Longtime contact with the tissues and fluids of the human body can cause a material to deteriorate. Coatings that remain stable even after years of being implanted within the body protect medical devices effectively. Biologically stable substances like parylene that can be made to conform closely to the contours of devices make it simple to enable such results.
- Chemical inertness. Chemical reactions of many kinds are constantly happening within the body. Substances that contribute to or alter these activities in any way can endanger the health of an implant recipient. Chemically inert coatings that can be applied to medical devices rule such dangers out. That can make it practical to install an implant even in marginal cases.
- Antibacterial action. The body generally does an excellent job of preventing harmful bacteria and other microbes from becoming established. Some otherwise useful coatings, though, can allow bacteria to proliferate. A coating that does not do so will always be a better choice for a medical device.
A Crucial Contributor to Many Medical Device Breakthroughs
Having access to coatings that excel in ways like these opens up entirely new possibilities for medical device designers and manufacturers. Conformal coatings made from materials like parylene deserve a lot of the credit for many recent advances in the field.