With the increasing demand for advancements in medical devices, particularly more sophisticated types of implanted devices, comes the need for more effective, lower cost options in thin film coating.
Many of the top thin film coating services are actively involved in the development of the technology, often designing an application system that is leading the industry in coating uniformity, the speed of application and precision control of the application to extremely exacting standards not possible even a few years ago.
There are several different options that thin film coating services can use to apply a coating. The exact method used is often a combination of the type of coating, the design, and components of the implantable device or component as well as the specific requirements.
Options to Consider
The two most obvious and the historically most commonly used systems include spraying the coating onto the surface. This can be challenging with complex designs and to ensure an even dispersal of the coating across the complete surface area.
Dipping is another option that can be used in some type of coating methods. However, like the spray application, it can be challenging to ensure uniform thin coating across all surfaces using this method.
More advanced options offered by thin film coating services include the use of technology that allows for vapor deposits from the evaporation of a solid source to create a fine, evenly distributed surface film on the substrate. Polymers can also be vaporized and distributed over the surface.
Ion implantation is one option to consider that allows for the uniform, controlled application of the coating across the surface. Ion Beam Assisted Deposition, also known as IBAD, will use both evaporation and ion beam technology used in a vacuum chamber.
Choosing the correct thin film service or process requires an understanding of the tolerances required for the coating and the specific components of the materials.