Stent & Balloon Catheter Coating Services

An Associate member of Thin Film Partners has developed proprietary coating methods and technology to uniformly and reproducibly coat coronary and peripheral stents.  We can now provide coating services for both device manufacturers and academic institutions for a variety of applications. 

We will provide services ranging from coating formulation (drug, no drug, polymer, solvent carrier) to stent crimping and sterilization.  Our coating experience is in processing both permanent (biostable) and biodegradable polymeric formulations on metallic and biodegradable stent substrates.  We have coated a variety of stent sizes including small configurations for mouse implantation and drug testing, a “mouse stent” with a 0.635 mm diameter and an overall length of 2.5 mm; and large diameter peripheral devices with a 7.00 mm diameter and an overall length of 40 mm. 

We are experienced in coating a variety of drug compositions/combination including Sirolimus (Rapamycin), Everolimus, Biolimus A9, Zotarolimus, Paclitaxel, Pimecrolimus, Trapidil, and proprietary protein drugs.

Thin Film Partners will support customers in all phases of their development.  We have supported drug device development companies seeking to coat a variety of devices with their specific drugs.  We provide coated components and coating technology to customers, saving the customer both process development time and eliminating the need to purchase custom specific and expensive tooling and process equipment.

Providing the following key services. 

  • Coat stents with polymer or polymer and drug
  • Provide coating weights of polymer, drug, by use of 0.1 microgram Mettler UMX5 balance
  • Provide formulation guidance, including the selection of polymer, solvent, and drug to polymer ratio

Capabilities include the following secondary services

  • Inspection and sorting both bare metal stents (BMS) and biodegradable stents
  • Cleaning stents
  • The application of primer(s)
  • Providing stents
  • Providing balloon catheters
  • Crimping of stents onto catheters
  • Packaging
  • Sterilization
  • Other unique customer services

Small Coated Stents – “The Mouse Stent”

Mouse StentMouse Stent Horizontal

In 1993, Volkhard Lindner developed the first mouse model of vascular healing.  More recently researchers (“Small is Beautiful: A Minature Stent Model,” http://atvb.ahajournals.org/sgi/content/full/27/4/701) have focused on developing and validating a model of angioplasty and stenting in mice that would allow investigation of the response to stent injury using genetically modified mouse strains.  We recognize this novel stent model will soon become a valuable test tool for vascular biology research. In support of this research, we can provide the researchers with the following: (1) small laser cut and polished stents, 1.25 mm x 2.5 mm, (2) precision coated stents, and (3) crimped stents on small balloon catheters.  The two photographs shown above, illustrated uncoated and coated “mouse stents,” respectively.

Coronary Stents

Currently, many drug eluting stent (DES) design configurations are used in procedures called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and in research indications and experimentation, (http://www.americanheart.org).  For example, the stainless steel drug eluting stent (DES) pictured above, is crimped onto a balloon catheter and contains a rapalog drug dispersed in a formulated biocompatible and biodegradable polymeric top coat, to address late stent thrombosis.  The pictured stent was 3.0 mm in diameter and 18 mm long, before crimping.  In addition, investigators may incorporate permanent (biostable) or biodegradable polymeric coatings onto the stent platform, which may be stainless steel, cobalt chromium, nitinol, or polymers.  With respect to any design and configuration, we will provide customers with unlimited platform options.

Peripheral Devices

For peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD) or peripheral arterial disease (PA), (http://www.americanheart.org), large stent configurations are under investigation.  The pictured stent above is an example of our capability to process a peripheral device.  The peripheral stent is made from a biodegradable polymer matrix, 7 mm in diameter and 40 mm in overall length.  The stent was totally coated with a proprietary polymer and drug combination.  Again, we are available and willing to support your project needs at all levels of development.