Anytime there is an opening into the body, such as when a catheter is used, micro-organisms can fester. Medical devices are a necessity, but without proper treatment can also lead to infections. Microorganisms, including bacteria, infiltrate the body through these openings and slow the healing process or create entirely new problems. Anti-microbial coatings applied with thin film evaporation can help to sterilize these common medical devices, and protect against microorganisms that cling to the linens in the hospital beds of patients, or uniforms of staff. When anti-microbial coatings are applied during the manufacture of these products, a thin film develops where bacteria cannot grow.
First, the device itself must be placed into a vacuum-sealed chamber. This is done to help regulate temperature, as the substrate may be made of something that can be damaged under extreme temperatures. The chemical compounds that will coat the substrate break down into gaseous particles. Those particles come to rest upon the substrate once the temperature inside the vacuum-sealed enclosure is lowered. The medical device is placed on a base, which can be spun for an even coating, until the process is complete.
Other Uses for Anti-Microbial Coating
Although this coating is used primarily within the health care industry, anti-microbial coatings have found some niche uses outside of that field. The chemical compounds used in anti-microbial coatings can be changed to prevent microorganisms from even bonding with a surface. This is especially useful in clean rooms, where pharmaceutical laboratories do their work. Sputtering systems are also used in the production of air and water filtration system, to prevent microbes from infesting filters.
Bio: Denton Vacuum, LLC makes a sputter deposition system used in a wide variety of fields. From healthcare to technology, Denton Vacuum, LLC makes the machines that make the parts we use every day.