Hydrophilic coatings have various benefits and applications that significantly improve product performance across a wide range of industries. Choosing suitable testing methods is vital to create certainty and predictability in manufacturing and using hydrophilic coatings for implantable medical devices.
FREMONT, CA: Hydrophilic coatings are used in various markets and applications ranging from farming to healthcare, from catheters to greenhouse panels, and everything in between. Below is one of the most critical areas where hydrophilic coatings are widely used.
Applications of Hydrophilic Coatings in Medicine and Healthcare
Hydrophilic coatings have been used on disposable medical devices for decades. Companies that manufacture and apply these coatings constantly improve coatings' performance characteristics. Enhancing or creating lubricity is the most prominent use of hydrophilic coating on medical devices. Lubricity of hydrophilic or lubricious coating is slippery when the wet feature allows easy passage of catheters, guidewires or medical accessories through tight anatomical pathways in patients. This will enable doctors to access areas that are usually difficult to reach through veins, arteries, gastrointestinal system, and urological tracts to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes.
Hydrophilic coatings are also used on devices such as IOL cartridges. The IOL cartridge's inner surface is coated so that a synthetic replacement lens can be placed in a patient's eye by a smaller incision, most often for cataract treatment. The ability to use smaller incisions helps with reduced scarring and faster healing. This pain- and damage-reducing service is the role of lubricious, hydrophilic coatings on the surface of implantable medical devices. Manufacturers of these devices are far from using medical products in surgery rooms and hospitals.
The lubricating nature of these coatings can also create passive thromboresistance. The slithery surface on a coated medical device can certainly withstand blood protein attachment. These proteins can fit uncoated surfaces. Therefore, thrombus formation on a painted surface of a disposable medical device is reduced. A utility of having a thromboresistant coating on a disposable medical device possibly prolongs the patency of the inner lumen of the catheter from a thrombus occlusion. Such claims are verified through independent laboratory results and results made available to interested individuals.
Furthermore, hydrophilic coatings can be used to deliver complex molecules. Due to the coating matrix and the attachment of water molecules to the layer, complex molecules such as therapeutic drugs and antimicrobials can be incorporated into the coating matrix.