A common issue with materials used in medical applications are their poor surface properties that results in a variety of problems including poor comfort and risk of infection. While the use of biocompatible materials seems to address the problems related to the surface properties, these materials exhibit a certain degree of bio-inertness that limits their use and performance. This technology aims to resolve such problems associated with materials in medical devices by means of a simple and scalable coating.
The technology is a patented, bio-inspired coating that can create high hydrophilic surface on a variety of material surfaces. This coating offers full control over wetting, lubricity and fouling to the surface it is applied on. Along with its tunability and self-repairing mechanism, it can increase the comfort, safety and performance of medical devices and industrial applications.
The coating technology consists of different lipids and additives dissolved in a solvent and attached through non-covalent bonding to the substrate. It also exhibits several properties simultaneously which can be tuned to the desired expression. Although a curing step is not required, depending on the end application and the way of applying the coating, some surface pre-treatment such as oxygen plasma or chemical priming may be required to provide it with a charge. Subsequently the coating is easily applied by means of dip-coating or spray coating which ensures an evenly spread, thin layer onto the substrate (5nm).
Other features of the coating include:
The coating can be applied to a variety of materials such as metals (stainless steel, titanium, nitinol), glass and several polymers (e.g., polycarbonate, polystyrene, cyclic olefin copolymer, polyurethane, polyethersulfone, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, polycaprolactone).
Products such as contact lenses, catheter, bioreactors, any kind of cell culture platforms to support 3D cell culture (spheroid/organoid culture, Organ-on-Chip), implants may utilize this coating with the aim to decrease the risk of infections and increase the comfort for users.
Every year in the US alone, Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) affect about 1.7 million people at a cost of more than $35 billion, some estimates reaching $88 billion spent annually on these debilitating and often fatal infections. HAIs are responsible for prolonging hospital stays by approximately 16 days on average and causing nearly 100,000 deaths annually. The situation is similar in the European Union, where yearly over 4 million patients acquire an HAI.
Contact lenses are commonly used medical devices to manage refractive errors. It is estimated that approximately 150 million people wear contact lenses worldwide. Several complications are associated with wearing contact lenses such as discomfort, eye infections, dry eyes and corneal neovascularization.