Nano-coatings for Scientific Research

Liquid repellent nano coating is a technology which allows surfaces to be liquid repellent without changing their look or feel. They can be applied to a wide range of products and can add significant value for product manufacturers and scientific researchers alike. With consumer products such as textiles for shoes or swimwear, or coatings for mobile phone keypads, the advantages of a water repellent surface are clear. Nano coatings on sports goggles can reduce the problems of smudging and nano coating of hearing aids can protect them against corrosion damage. However, what are the application and benefits for scientific research?

There are several applications for water repellent nano coatings in the field of life sciences. In work where it is advantageous to have minimal liquid retention on surfaces there are some clear applications for nano coating technology. For biological science and microbiogical laboratory equipment, nano coating technology is beneficial in minimising the risk of false positives, transfer loss and cross contamination. Nano coatings are proven to be non – toxic, non – irritating, hypoallergenic and are effective even at high temperatures; in other words, ideal for life sciences. Suitable applications include consumables such as Petri dishes, pipette tips and microtitre plates.

Nano coatings are resistant to washing processes and continue to be functional following any solvent washing. They are compatible with steam and radiation, to allow suitable sterilisation steps. With no effect on the optical clarity of product and with no leachable substances, liquid repelling nano coating is the natural choice for life science research consumables.

In laboratory work, where pipetting accuracy is critical, nano coating of pipette tips can have very substantial benefits. Pipette tips coated with a water repellent nano coating exhibit massively reduced liquid retention. This means that much less of the pipetted liquid adheres to the interior of the pipette tip, increasing the accuracy of the dispensed volume.

In microbiological laboratories, where the sterility of consumables is critical to avoid cross contamination, nano coating can be a significant bonus. Since micro – organisms can generally survive wherever water is a liquid, water repellent consumables such as pipette tips and Petri dishes are a clear benefit. As nano coatings are unaffected by steam or radiation treatment, there is no risk when the consumables undergo sterilisation prior to use.

Nano coatings also have a number of beneficial applications to filtration. Liquid repellent coatings enhance porous and micro-porous filtration membranes and are particularly effective in reusable filtration membranes. Performance is enhanced by increasing oil and water repellence, whilst not affecting pore size (and therefore air flow) or pore distribution. The nano coating technology can improve working efficiencies, capture rate and reliability and as such has many applications in the biosciences, industrial filtration and processing, electronics, water treatment and the food and beverage industry.

The properties and efficiency of solar cells and engineered glass are detrimentally affected by dirt and staining. Nano coatings can substantially improve performance of these instruments by resisting adherence of water, dirt and frost. Using liquid repellent nano coatings for these applications can therefore increase the variety of climates and locations they can be used in.

Article by – Market leaders in nano-technology and water repellent coatings.

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