The Importance of Parylene Conformal Coating in the Medical Setting

Parylene conformal coating for medical devices provides several benefits that help keep patients safe during and after surgical procedures. The coatings can be used for devices to be implanted, such as pacemakers and defibrillators. They also are used for medical procedural equipment, including surgical tools, stents, catheters, and others. Parylene coating is clear and extremely thin, functioning as a protective film. It can be molded to the precise shape of an object, which is why it is referred to as conformal.

Advantageous Features for the Medical Setting

Parylene has specific features that make it a top choice in medical settings. The coating is a type of polymer recognized for its purity and inert characteristics, meaning it is chemically inactive. It has dry lubricant properties as well. These features make it highly advantageous for biomedical procedures.

Polymer vs. Liquid Coatings

Polymers are plastic materials made of repeating structures of small molecules that form larger molecules. This polymer has been verified as much more conformal than liquid coatings even though that might not seem intuitive. Liquid coatings have numerous potential problems. They can pool in low areas and pull away from raised edges. Pinholes can develop, which compromises safety. Variations in thickness also occur, which does not happen with a thin polymer.

Application of the Coating

Before the coating from a supplier such as Para-Coat Technologies is applied, the device must be thoroughly cleaned and pre-treated with a layer of a chemical substance that promotes secure adhering of the polymer to the object.

The Importance of Polymer Films in Medicine

Why do the medical devices need to be coated at all? Can’t they be used without a polymer film covering them?

During surgery and certain other medical treatments, coated instruments and devices to be implanted are completely protected from environmental factors. The polymer protects against the possible adverse effects of moisture and various types of chemicals. Inside the body, the device is protected and the tissue is not irritated. Without this protection, an implanted electronic device intended to last for many years is vulnerable to early failure. Gases and fluids in the body will cause it to deteriorate.

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