Most medical instruments and devices require FDA compliant coating protection that’s conformable, biostable, and biocompatible. Parylene film has continued to meet the rigorous requirements in the medical field for the coatings and has been reported as a more effective option than other conformal coatings. This has made medical parylene a long-standing option for items such as catheters, needles, medical device circuits, mandrels, and epidural probes.
Why is Parylene Used for Medical Coatings?
This a transparent, thin film that can resist the effects of oils, bio-fluids, reagents, acids, organic solvents, inorganic and organic chemicals, and moisture. It creates a barrier to gases and moisture that is significantly more effective than the other coatings used. The film provides a low coefficient of friction, which some have compared to Teflon, offering useful lubricity for coating applications on medical devices.
Each of the properties has been achieved with a very low-mass, thin coverage that won’t interfere with the performance of the component or device. Many of the medical surfaces that have been coated using Parylene including plastics, ceramics, metal, and glass, can be sterilized again and again without causing the coating to degrade.
The Key Properties of the Parylene Coating
As mentioned above, it’s all the benefits that this coating offers that makes it appealing for use on medical devices. The benefits that are most noteworthy include superior barrier protection, high dielectric properties, dry-film lubricity, the ability to withstand repeated sterilization, and it’s a non-toxic material. Also, this transparent, thin-film doesn’t add any noticeable volume or weight to the device it is applied to.
Common Applications for Parylene Coatings
Within the medical realm, there are several devices and instruments that utilize parylene. Some of the most common it is found on include molded products, needles, electronic circuitry, mandrels, epidural probes, hearing aids, cannulas, prosthetic devices, catheters, and guidewires.
Anyone who works in the world of medical supplies or medical care should be familiar with parylene coatings. It offers an array of invaluable benefits. Being informed and understanding what this is can help ensure a person sees why this is such an important component of medical devices.