Parylene Medical Coating vs. The Junior Mint

Posted by Scott Curtis on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

In the very popular and beloved “The Junior Mint” Seinfeld episode, Jerry and Kramer are observing a splenectomy from the viewing gallery of the hospital and inadvertently drop a Junior Mint into the patient’s exposed chest cavity. In the midst of the operating procedure, the surgeons somehow fail to recognize the mint because it is, after all, “a little mint. It’s a Junior Mint.” After the operation, the patient begins to take a morbid turn and his chances of survival seem bleak. However, something miraculous happens, something “from above” and the patient’s condition suddenly turns around and he recovers.


In this perfectly plotted episode, the TV viewer clearly knows that the something “from above” that is responsible for staving off the infection and saving the patient’s life is the Junior Mint. In real life the chances of a Junior Mint saving someone’s life is very inconceivable. So, you’re probably wondering… What does a Junior Mint have to do with Parylene? Well, nothing really. Except, while recently watching this hilarious episode of Seinfeld, it also reminded me of the serious risks of infections in hospitals. Furthermore, it reminded me of the importance of Parylene and how its life-saving capabilities in the medical industry is quite conceivable.

Reduce the risk of infections with Parylene

Prevent Infections with Medical Device Coatings
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year an estimated 648,000 patients in the U.S. acquire infections during a hospital stay, and about 75,000 die. Reducing the risk of these preventable infections pose an ongoing and increasing challenge to hospitals. The dangers of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has led to an increased interest in medical coatings with antimicrobial protection for devices that frequently come in contact with patients. Manufacturing experts are developing effective antimicrobial coatings that are biocompatible, bio stable, and non-toxic that can meet FDA (Food and Drug Administration) compliance rules.

Source: Consumer Reports

Many medical devices and their electronics require protection from moisture, bodily fluids, chemical contamination, and electrical charges. Inert, vacuum deposited Parylene film with antimicrobial properties meets rigorous medical coating requirements more effectively than any other conformal coating. Parylene is FDA-approved (with a USP XXII, Class VI biocompatibility rating), and is safe for use within the body. Parylene offers solutions that protect medical devices from varying environments and applications and can play a major part in further driving down infection rates. Parylene thin coatings can be applied to and offer protection for a variety of surface materials used in medical applications, including catheters, defibrillators, stents, hearing aids, pacemakers, coils, implants, needles, mandrels, prosthetic devices, electrosurgical instruments and more.

Benefits of Antimicrobial Parylene:

  • Excellent Protection: Ultra-thin film polymer coating made of chemical vapor deposited polymers provides adequate and uncompromised physical, chemical, and electrical protection
  • Truly Conformal: Parylene truly and accurately conforms in very thin layers to virtually any shape, including surfaces, crevices, cracks, sharp edges, points, and more; the coating film is completely pinhole free with unparalleled longevity
  • Ultimate Resistance: Ability to resist chemicals, environmental conditions, and thinners. Excellent electrical resistance, high dielectric strength. It has low mass absorbency, and it doesn’t dissolve, weaken, or mix with water, making it quite stable and very reliable

Failing to protect medical devices with antimicrobial Parylene coating may well mean patients and healthcare providers are put at risk. The most beneficial properties that makes Parylene different from any other type of protective coating available in the medical device industry is its excellent barrier qualities and its inherent biocompatibility and bio stability.

The Junior Mint is chocolate, peppermint, delicious, and very refreshing, but it does not save lives. Parylene helps protect medical instruments, reduces the risk of infections, and has been responsible for saving countless lives in the medical field.

Contact PCT today to learn more about how Parylene will be beneficial to you!

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