Preferred global supplier of coating application services in the medical device industry offers expertise to Medical Product Outsourcing article on surface treatment options
Boston, MA – April 27, 2021 – Dave DiBiasio, vice president of sales and marketing at Precision Coating Co., Inc. (PCCI), along with industry peers, was recently consulted for expert PTFE and anodic coating insights for an online article published by Medical Products Outsourcing. The article discusses surface treatment options for medical devices and how surface modifications and coatings “imbue medical devices with a slew of valuable properties.” In fact, they allow medical devices to attain physical attributes that they might not be able to possess in the underlying substrate.
DiBiasio’s contributions cover a variety of subjects, including thinner coatings and tighter tolerances, dielectric properties, tailored coating application options and formulations of PTFE and polymers, aluminum anodizing’s functionality benefits, and his thoughts on upcoming advancements in the medical device industry. Some excerpts from each section are noted below.
Thinner Coatings and Tighter Tolerances
The article reminds readers that medical device manufacturers must meet the needs of enhanced performance and quality requirements of their customers; as such, they are seeking thinner coatings and “perpetually” tighter tolerances. DiBiasio’s informed response to this: “The need to apply increasingly thinner coating layers, ultra-thin at very tight tolerancing—as low as 0.0001 inch—is a current trend requiring newer application methods, including advanced automation to meet the requirements.”
Dielectric coatings are used for medical devices that require electrical insulation; they provide a thin coating of transparent dielectric material deposited on a substrate. DiBiasiso offered, “Inert properties able to handle a diverse array of more aggressive sterilization environments are increasing requirements of coatings this year. Dielectric properties are a key component in newer platforms in growing segments of the industry like robotic surgery, and FFR (fractional flow reserve) platforms.”
Tailored Coating Application Options and Formulations of PTFE and Polymers
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings are widely used for a host of surgical instruments, guidewires, mandrels, and other medtech devices, as they ensure lubricity, are non-reactive, and “don’t gather matter during a procedure,” among other benefits. “Coating application options and formulations tailored for medical devices’ unique properties allow use of PTFE and other polymers on a variety of substrates and platforms,” said Dibiasio. “A range of color options and ability to apply thin coating layers are attractive qualities for R&D engineers designing next-gen products. PTFE also has a high temperature usage range allowing for use in many different medical applications. In addition to interventional devices and tooling, PTFE application on mandrels enhances performance of components used in centrifuge devices, stirring and mixing machines, blood separation, and sterilization devices.”
Aluminum Anodizing’s Functionality Benefits
The article explains that andozing provides increased thickness, color, and protection to aluminum or any type of substrate. An anodized coating “consists of an oxide film created on metal through electrolysis, with the metal acting as an anode or positive electrode.” DiBiasio added to the discussion, “While aesthetically pleasing, anodic coatings provide a high degree of functionality to surgical instruments and accessories. Anodic coatings are naturally nonconductive, so they have inherent desirable dielectric properties. The anodic coating is much harder than the aluminum substrate, protecting from abrasion damage. You can easily color and—therefore, color code—anodized product. We can also provide permanent markings for traceability, CE marks, and bar coding.”
Upcoming Advancements in the Medical Device Industry
DiBiasio feels that trends to look for involve cohabitation in new facilities or partner investments. He also believes that “miniaturizing components from surgical robots to ultrasound devices and artificial intelligence capability will expand on medical device platforms in the next five years.” He added his thoughts that COVID experiences will also influence future endeavors regarding the design and expansion of outpatient options.