Hydrophilic Coating in Catheter Development

May 28, 2021 / Industry News, Latest Thinking, Resources

What is Hydrophilic coating?

Hydrophilic coating, or HC coating, is a surface level coating applied to catheters to enhance trackability by reducing the surface friction. ‘Hydrophilic’ literally means ‘water loving’, and the coating essentially acts like a microscopic sponge when exposed to a water source.

The increased lubricity provided by HC coatings allows the catheter shaft to target complex areas in the body. Tissue irritation and damage is reduced while patient outcome can be enhanced.

The coating process can vary but typically consists of primer and top-coat solution which is usually UV or heat cured to the surface, the coating forming adequate adhesion with the catheter polymers (nylons, Pebax and TPU grades of polymer).

Value in Rapid Prototyping

Hydrophilic coating plays an important role in rapid prototyping, effectively giving your prototype a fighting chance of success in your test models. A prototype catheter can be very quickly deemed inferior to predicate devices, often because the importance of Hydrophilic coating on the prototype catheter is overlooked.

Hydrophilic coating of prototypes can play a key role in ensuring your design achieves its intended function and represents a true comparison to the coated competitive devices that may already be on the market.

Employing HC coating enables a quick turnaround time on your prototype, allowing for quick evaluation of the catheter performance and facilitation of iterative development. This can be done while long-term coating agreements and solutions are being determined.

The ICS Process

Traditional processes typically require development time, royalties and complex agreements with suppliers, in a process that can span up to months. Whereas at ICS we can apply prototyping coating to our shafts in line with our catheter shaft prototyping with the process taking days vs weeks for the standard hydrophilic coating route.

Our process is effective, we have reduction in forces of up to 90%, with the coating displaying effectiveness up to 40 cycles, indicating excellent performance and robustness of our hydrophilic coating solution.

To speak to one of our engineers about whether Hydrophilic coating is right for your product, get in touch with us today.

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