A maker of coating products is developing nanoscale surface coatings for use in medical devices. nCoat (Bluffdale, UT; www.ncoat.com) has focused its work on creating micro- and nanoscale surface treatments that can enhance product performance.
Surface coatings can provide heat and corrosion resistance, as well as reduce friction. A medical device that is not surface-coated is more porous and therefore susceptible to factors that can cause performance issues. Shrinking the particulate matter used in surface coatings adds to its capability to fill in small occlusions or disparities. “By lowering the particulate size in coatings, we can create a smoother finish and stop attack or infiltration of corrosive agents,” says Paul Clayson, company president.
Testing of the nanoscale coatings is ongoing. Clayson anticipates that products will be commercially available by late 2006. “There are medical OEMs that have approached us about some of our coatings,” he adds. “They have offered to complete the internal testing and take it to market.”
Medical applications for the nanoscale coatings include components used in joint replacement and in pacemakers. “We can dramatically increase the life of the product by sealing the material,” says Clayson. Future developments may involve the coating of surgical instruments, textiles, and other materials to enhance performance and durability.