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Antimicrobial coating protects medical devices

By: Gayle S. Putrich

June 21, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — Specialty Coating Systems Inc. is looking to keep potentially deadly micro organisms off of medical devices with its new Parylene antimicrobial coating, microResist.

Introduced this week at the MD&M East trade show in Philadelphia, SCS hopes to help reduce healthcare-associated infections such as staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli with thin Parylene coatings for medical devices. The Parylene — a trade name for chemical vapor deposited poly(p-xylylene)polymers — can be applied much thinner than alternative coatings but with exemplary barrier properties to protect against bodily fluids, moisture and chemicals, said SCS medical market manager Juan Gudino.

“Parylene is normally used as a barrier… it protects the body from the leaching of metals or plastics and protects the device from the fluids of the human body attacking the device,” he said. “So it works both ways.”

Indianapolis-based SCS already works with ISO 10993 compliant medical Parylenes N, C and HT, Gudino said, and Parylene is already one of the most bio-compatible barrier coatings for devices permanently implanted in the human body such as stents, defibrillators and pacemakers. Combining the conforming coating with anti microbial properties was a logical step for the company, he said.

In testing, coated plastic devices were inoculated with 14 common pathogens and incubated for 24 hours. “All samples protected with SCS microResist demonstrated greater than 5 Log reduction after 24 hours,” the company’s product literature says, including 99.99997 percent effectiveness protecting against MRSA. The microResist coating also offers high lubricity, high temperature abrasion and can withstand standard sterilization processes from ethylene oxide (EtO) to gamma, he said.

Even with successful lab testing, the appropriateness of the coating for any individual medical device must be determined with testing and process confirmation by the manufacturer, Gudino said.

“We’re ready for the customer who wants to test the technology,” he said.