Figure 1. Global sales of coatings and surface treatment processes for medical devices are expected to post a 12.4% average annual growth rate over the next five years.
(click image to enlarge)
Expect sales generated by coatings and surface-treatment processes used on medical devices to grow significantly during the next four years. Last year, global sales hit $2.96 billion, and one research report predicts that the market will reach more than $5.31 billion by 2010 (see Figure 1). The 12.4% average annual growth rate will be “fueled by explosive growth in high-value combination products,” according to the report by BCC Research (Norwalk, CT).
The rapid acceptance of drug-eluting stents is responsible for what could be a similarly quick demand for other coated devices. Fields where the largest demand for coated devices is expected to occur are
• Cardiovascular medicine.
• General and plastic surgery.
The report anticipates a considerable change in the demand for certain types of coating materials. Alloy-based antimicrobial coatings, especially silver, will see a steady and higher demand. Generic drugs will be used rather than brand-name ones in stents and other drug-elution coatings. There will also be a strongly increasing demand for polymer-based coatings on combination products.
BCC predicts an “emerging demand” for energy-absorbing, energy-emitting, and reflective coatings. These include coatings that disperse heat produced by magnetic resonance imaging machines and reflective coatings that improve clarity in image-guided surgery.
Despite the promising expectations of nanotechnology, commercialized nanocoatings won't see much profit. And as structural plastics are used in place of metal components and equipment enclosures, the need for alloy-based coatings will also fall. For more information about the report, visit www.bccresearch.com.