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Conformal Coatings for Medical Devices and the Medical Industry

Conformal Coatings for Medical Devices

Conformal coating involves the process of coating  devices  with certain materials to prevent it from being  damaged by exposure to dust, moisture, chemicals, bodily fluid and  temperature. These coatings allow for normal functionality of the device when exposed to extreme conditions.

Conformal Coating Material

The material that will be used to coat the device (to a great extent) will depend on the environment in which the device is going to be used. It becomes mandatory to study the application or industry where the device is going to be utilized and choose a suitable coating for it. Factors that are generally considered typically include the following:

  • What the coating layer  is protecting against (e.g. moisture, chemicals or bodily fluid)

  • The temperature variation the device will encounter.

  • Is the coating material used compatible with the device it is being used on, in  terms of electrical, chemical and mechanical attributes?

Parylene for Conformal Coatings

A common material used as a protective coating in the medical industry is Parylene. Parylene is a transparent, extremely thin polymer coating that is bio compatible, non toxic and chemically inert.. These properties make Parylene an ideal barrier coating for  medical devices . It has an ability to withstand sterilization which, of course, explains its popularity as a conformal coating material in the medical industry.

Parylene coatings  is commonly used as a protective barrier on medical devices as it is extremely conformal in very thin layers   adding very little weight and volume to the device. Some of the substrates Parylene will adhere well to include: 

  • Silicone Rubber

  • Glass

  • Metal

  • Ceramics

  • Plastics

Applications in the Medical Industry

Conformal coatings are used for medical devices like surgical instruments, probes, electrodes, circuits/pcbs and implantable. Some Implantable devices can contain microelectronic components. Parylene C has proven to be suitable to protect devices from the body and the body from the device. Parylene N and HT has been found to be useful for high frequency device applications due to the  low dielectric constant. Parylene has a coefficient of friction similar to PTFE making it ideal for coating forming mandrels.

Conformal Coating on Implantables

Electronics need to function even when placed in the harshest of environments. Another challenge faced is that the environment in which it is placed must also not be affected by the electronics. This challenge is especially high in the case of electronics placed in the human body. In this environment, there is exposure to salts, acids, dissolved oxygen and other bio-materials. Since the electronic device in itself is not bio- compatible, it becomes necessary to use conformal coatings that are bio-compatible.

Other Medical Devices

Other medical applications of conformal coatings in medical devices include

stents, cardiac arrest devices, electrosurgical tools, needles, epidural probes and  catheters.

The study and use of conformal coatings on medical devices is vital. There is a wide range of conformal coatings that are available, each with its unique features and benefits. Hence, it is important to choose the correct coating and its coating method to suit your industry needs.

Using conformal coatings enhances the reliability and the efficient functioning of the electronic device used. This “efficient functionality” is more vital in the medical industry where rework and repair can be kept to a minimum through superior Parylene Conformal Coatings.

Parylene. is an innovator and leader in the area of conformal coatings for medical devices. We welcome your application questions and the opportunity to assist you with any Conformal Coatings inquiries.




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