Parylene for Medical Devices Is a Healthy Choice
Mallory McGuinness | September 8, 2020
When people use your medical devices, they put their lives into your hands. What you do matters. That’s why you put your blood, sweat, and tears into producing a great medical device. So, when it comes to choosing a stable, consistent, biocompatible conformal coating for electronic component protection, the choice of material is critical. Conformal coatings are thin polymeric layers of protection that can make devices more reliable in harsh environments. Conformal coating materials include acrylics, epoxies, polyurethanes, Parylene, and silicones. While each material has distinct characteristics, conformal coatings, in general, can afford thinner, lighter protection than enclosures and seals, which is ideal for medical devices.
Why Parylene is The Best for Medical Devices
Of all of the conformal coatings, Parylene has properties that make it the right candidate for medical device conformal coating protection. As Parylene is extremely thin, medical devices can remain compact yet resilient throughout exposure to bodily fluids, medicine, sterilization, and cleaning fluids.
Parylene has been used to coat medical devices for decades because it stood the test of time and is a proven performer, and the protection precisely conforms to surface features. While other conformal coatings use liquid deposition methodologies such as dipping, spraying, or brushing, Parylene is applied using a chemical vapor deposition process. The result is 3D coverage that conforms to even the most complex surfaces. With this method, Parylene dimer is heated into a vapor that disperses everywhere in a vapor chamber that isn’t masked. With consistent coverage applied at the micron level, Parylene penetrates deeply into crevices, adding minimal bulk or weight to your medical equipment
Parylene is chemically inert and biologically stable.
Parylene is Biocompatible and Can Stand up to Sterilization
Parylene is chemically inert and biologically stable, meaning it can survive exposure to chemicals found in the body without reactions. It is also non-toxic.
In a medical environment, medical instruments must remain free of contamination. Parylene can withstand sterilization by autoclave, E-beam, gamma-ray, and more, protecting against moisture, chemicals, and bodily fluids. Over the long-term, Parylene helps prevent premature device failure.
High Flexibility, Low Friction Protection
Parylene serves as a dry lubricant and facilitates its intended purpose and medical procedure. This property is essential for medical devices, where more friction may mean a more complicated, lengthier procedure. With Parylene coatings, discoloration and contamination can be reduced on a variety of medical products.
Learn how to reduce warranty claims with Parylene
Parylene has properties that make it the right candidate for medical device conformal coating protection.
Parylene inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can prevent fungi caused infections that could potentially lead to health complications. Microorganisms can also damage medical device reliability, as they digest organic materials, reducing surface tension, damaging the substrate, and increasing the device’s susceptibility to moisture penetration. Fungi can also be aesthetically unpleasant, leading users to stop avoid using critical equipment. Finally, the presence of microorganisms may cause electrical failures caused by living bridges that can form across components.
Parylene is US FDA approved with a Class VI biocompatibility rating. This rating, coupled with Parylene’s comfort, resistance to flaking, controlled, consistent thickness, and resilience across multiple sterilization processes, makes Parylene a reliable option for medical device protection.
Considering Parylene for Your Project?
If you are thinking about using Parylene to protect your medical product, reach out to us for a free consultation. We can help you choose which Parylene type is best for you, what thickness to use, and help you determine how to save money throughout every step of the coating process. When it comes to medical coatings, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today.
When it comes to medical coatings, we’ve got you covered.
Ryan is a 9-year veteran to the world of protecting electronics from harsh environments and a lover of all things technology.