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Innovative medical coatings  #7 (89), 2010

Bayer MaterialScience has launched a new portfolio of innovative products designed for improvement of surgical processes efficiency under the trade name Baymedix® and its new Makrofol® polycarbonate film with antimicrobial layer shows excellent results in infectious diseases control

Lubricious coatings
The Baymedix® product portfolio includes a wide range of coatings: Baymedix® CL lubricious coating, Baymedix® CD coating releasing active agent as well as Baymedix® CH hydrophilic coating featuring high mechanical strength and extremely high hemocompatibility. The series also includes Baymedix® FG wound treatment foams and currently being developed Baymedix® AT histic adhesive of local administration. These products represent an alternative to stitch material for medical wound closing.
Bayer Material Science offers new lubricious coating for catheters and other medical devices under the brand name Baymedix® CL 100. Lubricious coatings have found widespread use in a wide range of medical devices where clinicians need to reduce the amount of friction encountered between the components of a medical device, for example leads and catheters, or between the device and a patient’s tissue. For instance, they give surgeons better handling and maneuverability when performing procedures like cardiovascular stenting.
Baymedix® CD is a new product range. By carefully balancing the ratio of hydrophobic to hydrophilic elements, these coatings can be customized to achieve different release rates of the drug they contain. Baymedix® CD is widely tunable, allowing the target drug to be completely released in as little as a few hours, or up to several months. The tunability also means a range of active substances can be released, from small molecule drugs to biopharmaceuticals. Release kinetics are first-order with little or no burst effect. Baymedix® CD’s suitability for implantation has been demonstrated by 28-day and 90-day porcine coronary artery tests. Additional biocompatibility tests support the inertness of these coatings. They can be sterilized by means of gamma irradiation or ethylene oxide.

Antimicrobial film
One more innovative development of Bayer MaterialScience is a new Makrofol® polycarbonate film whose surface is equipped with an antimicrobial thermoplastic coating. This new coating offers effective protection against numerous bacteria and other microbes that adhere to frequently touched surfaces in large numbers and can multiply quickly. The film significantly reduces the number of microbes that adhere to them by preventing cell adhesion and suppressing the growth of germs. As a result, objects whose surfaces are covered with this film significantly reduce the risk of infection. The film is ideal for use in public buildings such as train stations, airports, department stores and local authority premises and also in hospitals, retirement homes and doctors' practices, where hygiene plays a particularly important role. "Possible applications include large-area objects that are either touched regularly by people who are ill or that come into contact with large numbers of people. These include light switches, telephone touchpads, remote controls, control panels for medical equipment, touchscreens for drinks vending machines and ticket machines, and the storage areas of bedside tables in hospitals," says Dr. Heinz Pudleiner, product developer for polycarbonate films in the Functional Films segment at Bayer MaterialScience.
Infectious diseases control represents an enormous challenge for the public health sector. According to information from the UK's National Audit Office (NAO), for example, infectious diseases cost the United Kingdom alone GBP 1.4 billion each year. People with weaker immune systems are very susceptible to infection, which is why infections such as saccharomyces albicans or the staphylococcus aureus bacterium - particularly multi-resistant strains - pose such a high risk to hospitals and retirement homes. Microbes can be transmitted, for example, via the objects on which they breed. The key is to fight these bacteria at source in order to minimize the probability of transmission through contact and thus cut the risk of infection. Microbiological tests at Bayer HealthCare have shown that the new film reduces the number of colony-forming units of pathogens by at least 103.
The antimicrobial coating, which contains a silver-bearing substance functioning as an active agent, can be applied on either one or both sides using a coextrusion process. This substance is chemically bonded into the abrasion-resistant, inorganic matrix and, therefore, does not leach out over time - even when exposed to moisture. The film can be formed cold under pressure and, thanks to the high heat resistance of the inorganic coating, it can also be thermoformed. As with standard polycarbonate films, this one can also be formed into decorative 3D plastic parts using Film Insert Molding (FIM).
Common procedures such as screen, digital and laser printing can be used to print the film with decorations and symbols, such as lettering. The film's antimicrobial surface also exhibits good resistance to common disinfectants, detergents and household chemicals. Furthermore in future the new film will be applied for materials which will be developed according to special requirements of medical devices.

Figures
GBP 1.4 billion – infectious diseases cost the United Kingdom alone
103 – colony-forming unit volume which is substracted from base value if the new film is applied (a colony-forming unit represents a cell which outgrows to colony)
28 and 90 days – the term of porcine coronary artery tests for Baymedix® CD’s suitability for implantation.


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