Nanocoatings in the medical industry
In medical facilities it is necessary to equip materials and surfaces with a high level of hygiene using antimicrobial agents to protect them against bacteria and other micro organisms to prevent infections caused by bacteria and contribute significantly to reduce health costs. Challenges in medical device coatings include:
- coating adhesion;
- uniform coverage over challenging shapes;
Benefits of nanoscale coatings in this sector include long lasting antimicrobial effect, constant release of the active substance, effectiveness against bacteria and other micro-organisms, no chemical impurities, easy processing, no changes to the characteristics of the equipped material, and no later discolouration of the equipped material. Nanocoatings are already finding application in life sciences & healthcare in enabling anti-bacterial surfaces for medical catheters, added to paints and lacquers used to coat operating tables, door knobs and door handles in hospitals and as ultra-hard porous coatings for surgical and orthopedic implants like screws, plates or joint implants.
The medical market will be a high growth area for nanoscale coatings over the next 5-10 years, and this is reflected in the high number of companies exploiting technology in this area, especially in the anti-microbial domain. The main market driver in this area is the prevention of the spread of deadly infections in medical facilities. Drug-resistant bacteria, the so-called “superbugs,” are a growing problem in hospitals worldwide and poor hygiene among staff is often blamed for the spread of such infections. They kill about 25,000 people a year in Europe and about 19,000 in the United States.There are significant market opportunities in this sector with the catheter market alone projected to reach $22 billion globally by 2012 (ORNL). 10% of patients in ICU’s develop catheter related infections, and 40% of these are acquired during their stay. The market will continue to grow as an aging population will drive more hospital stays and infectious agents (bacteria/fungi) continue to evolve quickly and become less susceptible to antibiotic treatments.
Published March 2014 | 45 pages | Table of contents
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