Coatings for Medical Supplies
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Medical supplies can often benefit from specialized coatings that improve their performance or durability. There are a wide range of coatings for medical supplies, each of which imparts unique characteristics. Three of the most common types of coatings for medical supplies are lubricious coatings, hemocompatible coatings, and drug delivery coatings. Lubricious coatings lower the coefficient of friction of the surface of medical supplies, making it easier for these devices to pass through veins, tissues, or other areas of the human body. Greater lubricity reduces the possibility of accidental harm and can vastly improve patient comfort, both during the procedure and after. Improved lubricity also makes it easier for doctors to perform their given task, as the device will move more readily when required. Hemocompatible coatings for medical supplies can significantly improve blood compatibility. Whether the device or instrument will only be inside the body for a few minutes during surgery, or be implanted and left for years, hemocompatible coatings help improve its performance, minimize blood clotting, and reduce or eliminate adherence of blood to the device. Drug delivery coatings allow for the controlled release of bioactive pharmaceuticals. They will improve the performance of medical devices, and can offer tunable elution and degradation. Drug delivery coatings for medical supplies can be applied to balloon, stents, opthalmic platforms, and more to delivery a variety of pharmaceutical agents. Release times can range from minutes to several years.