Two articles recently appeared in Qmed that discuss medical device cleanliness. The first discusses the effects of cleanliness on the application of coatings on guidewires. Guidewires are used to help steer catheters and other cardiovascular equipment through blood vessels. PTFE is often applied to improve lubricity of the guidewires. When problematic flaking of the PTFE from guidewires was observed, Surface Solutions modified their cleaning process to help adhesion. Even contamination on the atomic level can interfere with adhesion of the PTFE, resulting in the need for ultraclean processing conditions.
The second article mentions the Sulzer InterOp recall, which was previously discussed in this blog. The article discusses manufacturing decisions in medical devices, including cleaning and sterilization, and how the materials used in the device need to be considered when selecting a sterilization modality.