Medical Coatings and Modification Technologies for Medical Devices: The Need and Advantages

Over the past 50 years, the medical device industry has seen several notable developments. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), presently, around two million medical devices are available across the globe. Further, since 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 125 medical devices. The growing demand for complex medical devices, including implants, surgical equipment, catheters, and other invasive devices, has prompted the medical device coating developers to innovate and introduce biocompatible, high-performance medical coatings that can meet the operational, clinical, and engineering requirements for these devices. These companies are working collaboratively with the medical device contract manufacturing organization and in-house manufacturers to improve the performance and safety of medical devices.

Need for Medical Coatings and Surface Modification Technologies

The process of producing effective, functional as well as affordable, medical devices, when combined with the hygienic and biocompatibility requirements, develops unique quality challenges.  In order to meet such challenges, the surface of biomaterial and biomedical devices is frequently coated, and tailored to alter the physiochemical properties, and the functionality of the surface, depending on the intended application. The growing demand for complex medical devices, including implants, surgical equipment, catheters, and other invasive devices will drive the demand for biocompatible, high-performance medical device coatings within the overall medical device coatings market.

Roots Analysis - functions of medical device coatings

Types of Medical Coatings Suited to Medical Devices

Biomedical devices have traditionally been made of different metals. More recently, different coating materials have been used to increase the biocompatibility of the medical equipment. Other desirable attributes provided by the medical device coating include, reactivity to different stimuli, drug delivery / eluting capabilities, and anti-fouling traits. Further, medical coatings can be tailored to improve patient outcomes. They can also lengthen the device’s functional lives and increase their effectiveness. The choice of medical coatings is also dependent on the type of device. As an example, coronary drug eluting stent have usually been coated with polymer coating to increase the biocompatibility. The latest stent from Medtronic Onyx Frontier was launched in August 2022 and the drug-eluting stent has a BioLinx™
biocompatible polymer coating. Some of the common types of coatings (on the basis of different applications) include lubricant coating, antimicrobial coating and water-repellent polymers based coatings.

Advantages of Medical Device Coatings and Surface Modification Technologies

The selection of a biomaterial for a medical device depends on several factors that can affect the present as well as future potential of the device. Notably, biocompatibility remains one of the most important factors. Each type of coating material / surface modification offers several advantages for the medical devices. Some of these have been depicted below:

Advantages of medical device coatings and Surface Modification Technologies - Roots Analysis

Concluding Remarks

With the increasing number of medical devices being approved across the globe each year, the demand for these technologies is increasing rapidly. In fact, there is a significant rise in the interest of such coatings and technologies amongst the these developers. Hence, the medical device coatings and surface modification technologies industry can be expected to expand rapidly in the coming years.

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