Many types of orthopedic and medical implants are coated with hydrophilic materials. These specialized coatings are deposited to extremely tight tolerances to coat the surface of the part or component without adding any additional size.
These coatings are designed to bond with the water surrounding them to create a smooth, gel-like surface that doesn’t wear away like other types of lubricants that are on the surface but separate from the device. Once the hydrophilic coatings interact with the tissues of the body, they are able to move through tissue with very limited friction, causing limited tissue trauma and reducing risks of irritation.
Decreased Pressure and Friction
When there is less friction through the use of hydrophilic coatings, the medical staff or patient has to use less force as the device slides easily through the body or the tissue.
For individuals requiring continual use of devices, such as catheters, this lubricity reduces the risk of inflammation of the tissue. With less inflammation, there is less pain, less difficulty in the next insertion and greater comfort for the individual.
With very delicate parts and components, less pressure required to position the device in the body means less risk of damage to the implant during the procedure. While many people think of large devices with medical implants, small devices such as artificial lenses for the eyes or even blood clot filters placed in the vascular system can be extremely delicate to work with for the surgeon.
Another important consideration and benefit to hydrophilic coatings is their permanent nature. It means that another type of lubricant is not required on the component or device.
Without this extra coating, there is no additional material introduced into the patient’s body and tissue. Without the coating that separate lubricant material will need to be absorbed by the body, which can cause an increased risk for complications with some patients.
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