Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Hydrophilic Coating?

Medical Device Coating FAQs

Who is Harland Medical Systems?

Harland Medical Systems provides medical device coatings, automated coating and testing equipment, contract coating services and laser marking systems. Coatings include hydrophilic, antimicrobial and drug delivery coatings. Automated coaters include surface preparation, dip, and cure processes for quantities of a few parts per day up to tens of millions of parts per year.

What type of coating does Harland Medical Systems Provide?

Harland Provides both hydrophilic coatings and antimicrobial coatings for catheters, guidewires and other medical devices.

What is a hydrophilic coating?

Hydrophilic coatings are employed to reduce surface friction and enhance lubricity. The term “hydrophilic” means that it is water loving. In other words, it readily wets out when exposed to moisture. Most hydrophilic coatings consist of a loosely cross-linked polymer coating that will readily uptake liquid when exposed to a source. This coating that surrounds the device acts like a microscopic sponge and the water (or other liquid) provides excellent low friction characteristics as long as the coating remains wet. Devices coated with these coatings demonstrate pull forces as low as 3 grams and CoF values as low as 0.01.This high level of lubricity enables devices to navigate tortuous anatomical pathways while reducing tissue irritation and adding to patient comfort.

What types of medical devices use hydrophilic coatings?

Typically catheters, guidewires, introducers and other medical devices use hydrophilic coatings for minimally invasive procedures.  Hydrophilic Coating reduces friction forces compared with an uncoated device surface. This enhanced surface performance increases the device’s ability to navigate through tortuous anatomical pathways, improves device control, reduces tissue damage and adds to patient comfort.

What is an antimicrobial coating?

An antimicrobial surface contains an antimicrobial agent that inhibits or reduces the ability of microorganisms to grow on the surface of a material. The most common and most important use of an antimicrobial coating has been for sterilization of medical devices to prevent infections

What clinical areas use medical coatings?

Medical coatings are utilized throughout the medical industry in cardiologyneurologyperipheral vascularvascular accessurologyorthopedicsophthalmology, and wound management.

How does the UV curing process work?

The UV Cure Sources produce a flood of the proper spectrum UV light to cure today’s coating chemistries. To assure uniform cure, the parts individually rotate in front of the UV sources. Each source can cure 25 cm of part length. Sources can be added into pre wired compartments to handle up to 170 cm of device length. An automatic cover closes over the solution tube funnel openings to protect light-sensitive coating solution from UV exposure during curing.

A mechanical shutter opens and closes for precise control of cure time. When this shutter is closed and no curing is underway, UV sources can be reduced to standby power to conserve energy and extend bulb life.  Harland utilizes ultraviolet curing, heat curing and other methods.

How does the dip coating process work?

Dip coating is an industrial process for coating medical devices. For example, a servo controlled motion column lowers a cassette of devices into individual solution tubes. These tubes are removable and disposable to help keep coating solution fresh. The process allows users to program the immersion speed, immersion distance and extraction speed to match the requirements for the device and coating chemistry.  J-shaped or L-shaped solution tubes allow users to coat long devices without the need for unusually high ceiling clearance. The deck of solution tube openings can be configured to a height convenient for your device length. And for coating shorter lengths a Straight Dip configuration can be used. A Dual Solution option accommodates two separate solutions for those coating technologies requiring two unique fluids.

What is a friction tester?

A friction tester is an instrument specifically designed for measuring lubricious coating performance on medical devices such as catheters, guidewires, pacing leads, and similar products.

Harland’s FTS 6000 Friction Test System measures both surface friction and coating durability by drawing the test sample between two silicone rubber pads clamped at a programmable force. The FTS is an ideal surface-property management tool for coating development, quality control, and market benchmarking.