NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals' medical coating is based on a proprietary method of applying a thin film of noble metal nanocrystals to base materials. This proprietary technique of depositing biocompatible metal to base materials produces atomic disorder at the molecular level, and with it, the sustained release of metal ions sufficient to produce an antimicrobial effect. NUCRYST patents cover a wide range of coating(s) for medical devices including bioinert and bioabsorbable materials, and lubricious coatings.
Smith & Nephew's Acticoat™ antimicrobial barrier dressings with SILCRYST™ nanocrystals, the first commercial product of this technology, use silver as an antimicrobial coating. Conventional silver is composed of large crystals, usually micro-crystallites of 1 or 2 microns. These micro-crystallites dissolve slowly, thereby limiting the available silver.
SILCRYST™ silver nanocrystals are considerably smaller ranging between 1 and 100 nanometers. This nanocrystalline size and disordered structure are linked to enhanced solubility and sustained release of the silver nanocrystals. Acticoat™ dressings with SILCRYST™ nanocrystals maintain a fast-acting release of silver ions for up to 7 days.
Patients require fewer dressing changes along with the antimicrobial barrier protection. Fewer dressing changes can mean less pain to patients. Pain associated with serious wounds can be significant. Smith & Nephew's Acticoat™ dressings with SILCRYST™ nanocrystals peel away easily without damaging the underlying wound bed.