Parylene (XY -- poly(para-xylylene)) organic polymers are highly regarded through a wide range of industries – aerospace/defense, automotive, commercial, industrial, medical – for their utility as conformal coatings. Chemically inert, colorless, linear/polycrystalline and optically clear, XY coatings provide exceptional barrier protection, dielectric reliability, and insulation for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and similar electronic assemblies whose components must maintain performance through all operating conditions. Parylene conformal films safeguard function in the presence of biogases, biofluids, chemicals, moisture/mist, salt compounds, and temperature fluctuations.Read More
Parylene Coating Blog by Diamond-MT
Contributing to good performance for internal medical appliances, lubricity is a conformal coating’s ability to lower operational friction that might retard its function and endanger patient health. Lubricious coatings offer essential protection for appliances like cardiac-assist devices (CADs), catheters, elastomers, guidewires, and stents. Compared to an uncoated device, lubricious films can reduce frictional forces by more than 90%, dramatically decreasing potential harm caused by excessive insertion-force or internal puncture damage. This relative ease of use is important for implants and similar devices that require navigation throughout the patient’s vascular system or other internal structure; otherwise, patients can suffer from abrasion generated between the device surface and blood vessel walls.
Coefficient of Surface Friction
The degree of physical resistance a device demonstrates is numerically expressed by a coating’s coefficient of friction (µ), which quantifies:
- the magnitude of resistance a surface exerts on substances moving across it, or
- the minimum force necessary for an object to slide on a surface, divided by the forces pressing them together.
Static friction (µs) occurs when an object moves across a stationary surface; kinetic friction (µk) results for two objects simultaneously in motion, moving across each other. Conformal coatings are used in both circumstances, especially for medical implants with moving MEMS/nano-tech components.
Where higher-level surface lubricity is sought, lower µ-values are the objective; they signify lessened frictional resistance, minimizing non-release, dry-sticking challenges that interfere with devices’ performance. For instance, a µ-value of 1 indicates an equal quantity of force is needed to either lift an object, or slide it across a level surface; these calculations compare an object’s weight to the total force required to make it move. Most everyday objects and materials have a coefficient between 0 and 1; values closer to 1 are not feasible for medical purposes. For medical devices, a µ-value:
- ranging from 0.01 to 0.1 is ideal,
- but remains difficult to achieve
- for application to the expansive degree of metallic and polymeric substrates used for medical appliances,
- which require highly-specified levels of abrasion resistance and non-thrombogenic properties,
- in addition to biocompatibility and lubricity.
Appropriate safety standards also need to be met.
Much depends on the materials comprising the touching surfaces. Conformal coatings like Teflon (PTFE) and parylene, which provide high-level lubricity, maintain that level for a prolonged operational duration, making them very useful for specialized medical applications.
Properties of Reliable Coating Lubricity
Lubricated surfaces have lower levels of friction. Wet hydrophilic coatings amass water as a source of lubricity, applied by liquid methods such as dipping or spraying the film substance onto substrates. Applied to catheters or guidewires, they temporarily minimize development of thrombosis. However, their lubricious function decreases with time, dissociating or dissolving from the matrix surface, leaving particulates in tissue or the bloodstream, endangering patient health. Thus, they are less reliable long-term than hydrophobic coatingsRead More
Conformal coatings are surface treatments applied to a wide range of products and devices used for aerospace, automotive, biomedical, consumer, military and numerous other purposes. Their primary objective is providing a protective film that supports a selected device’s ease of use, operating function, and service life, through an exceptional variety of working environments. Liquid Teflon (PTFE) and parylene are two of the more widely used hydrophobic conformal coatings.Read More
Biocompatible parylene conformal coatings provide superior protection for medical stents. They represent an enabling technology consistently applied to medical devices of all types for 35 years, to diminish problems stemming from surface microporosity and consequent biofluid corrosion after implant. Providing a reliable barrier to chemicals and moisture, parylene’s static and dynamic coefficients of friction are comparable to those of Teflon.Read More
Driving development of such emerging areas as microfluidics, advanced bio-sensing, capsule endoscopy, and personalized medicine, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are enabling an array of breakthroughs that promise to enhance patient care and outcomes. Protecting sensitive MEMS products from the harsh conditions both inside the body and out is Parylene conformal coating, which is helping to bring these futuristic technologies to fruition.
A downfall for wet chemistry, liquid coatings such as silicones, acrylics, epoxy, or urethanes is that they do not meet bio-compatibility requirements and cannot be applied with precise control. On the contrary, parylene does not out-gas and is very effective against the passage of contaminants from both the body to substrate or substrate to body.
Medical Conformal Coatings Used
While all conformal coating types can be used for different applications, for many medical devices, parylene is the way to go. Because parylene is biologically inert, FDA approval of parylene coated devices is well-documented. The coatings comply with USP Class VI plastics requirements and are MIL-I-46058C / IPC-CC-830B listed. Another benefit for medical devices such as stents and catheters is that parylene is entirely conformal, meaning that component configurations with sharp edges, points, flat surfaces, crevices or exposed internal surfaces are coated uniformly without voids or pinholes.
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