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P2i extends coverage of super-repellent coatings

P2i

Super-repellent nano-coatings

P2i is planning to launch its range of super-repellent nano-coatings to the international medical device and consumables sector at ComPaMed, Dusseldorf, Germany, on 16-18 November 2005.

P2i is planning to launch its range of super-repellent nano-coatings to the international medical device and consumables sector at ComPaMed, Dusseldorf, Germany, on 16-18 November 2005.

The company has already has attracted a great deal of interest with its first major application for pipette tips, and says that it is now looking to repeat this success with other consumables, such as plates, filters and devices.

With pipette tips, P2i uses its proprietary cold plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) process to apply nano-thin coatings which dramatically enhance their performance, virtually eliminating liquid retention.

Extensive testing in P2i's custom-built nano-coating chambers has shown that P2i-enhanced pipette tips produce more accurate and reliable results and can reduce reagent costs by up to 10%.

The ultra-low adhesion, pin-hole free coating has a surface energy three times lower than Teflon (PTFE) and has no leachable components, says the company.

This advance offers major benefits across the full spectrum of pipetting applications - from hand-held pipettes to large-scale robotic liquid handling systems.

According to P2i's chief executive officer Quentin Compton-Bishop: "With sample volumes getting smaller all the time in both research and routine medical applications, avoiding precious sample loss through surface retention becomes even more critical".

"We are now looking to follow our success with pipette tips by applying nano-coatings to microplates, filters, textiles and other medical consumables".

"Visitors to our stand at ComPaMed will be able to see the potential for themselves".

P2i's cold plasma process can be used to create a variety of other surface modifications for medical applications.

Compton-Bishop commented: "Our process can be used to deposit a range of functional groups on both plastic and glass surfaces".

"For example, we can create hydrophilic surfaces and other specific reaction sites for proteins." The firm's patented plasma process was originally developed by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in collaboration with the University of Durham, to protect the armed forces against chemical attacks by enhancing uniforms and equipment with super-repellent coatings.

Using plasma or 'ionised gas', proprietary chemicals can be deposited in layers only molecules thick over any surface.

The polymerised compounds bind at the molecular level creating an invisible layer that does not leach.

The super liquid-repellent coating, for example, has a surface energy three times lower than the benchmark Teflon (PTFE), and unlike other hydrophobic treatments, it is also able to repel 100% isopropylalcohol (IPA) and oils.

The specialised plasma chambers used for the plasma treatments are robust and can be scaled to fit the process.

P2i's on-site facilities include 40-l, 300-l and 2000-l chambers, supported by the expertise of its team of plasma process chemists.

Compton-Bishop said: "Our range of chambers can process single-use disposable products as small as frits and pipette tips in their thousands through to larger items such as whole medical devices and protective apparel".

"For high-level users, however, we can install bespoke chambers at customer sites under licence."

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