Medical Electronics Symposium Conference Proceedings


PLASMA PROCESSING FOR OPTIMAL MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURING

Authors: Les Wood and James Getty, Ph.D.
Company: March Plasma Systems
Date Published: 4/25/2005   Conference: Medical Electronics Symposium


Abstract: Reliability and reproducibility are crucial in the manufacture of medical products. Non-compatible materials (e.g., plastic/metal, mix-matched polymers) used in the manufacture of medical devices pose difficulties in the assembly process. Gas plasma surface treatment modifies the surface energies, allowing designers and manufacturers to maintain their desired bulk properties with few compromises. The use of plasma technology removes contaminants at the nanometer level, allows micro-level etching, promotes cross-linking, and activates and changes surfaces from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.

Plasma is the only successful method for treating the surface of chemical-resistant materials. Plasma cleaning removes organic materials that can prohibit desired bond strengths. In addition, plasma treatment can add functional groups to the surface, changing the surface chemistries for improved lubricity and surface adhesion. The following paper will explore the plasma processes used for surface modification of the various material types used in the manufacture of medical devices.

Key words: gas plasma, plasma treatment, hydrophilic, hydrophobic.



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