META-POLY®

ProPlate’s dedicated new product development team supports new projects from concept through commericialization through our proven process roadmap, further expanding our Meta-Poly® capabilities.

Meta-Poly®

Selectively Coat Metal onto Polymer Substrates

The Product: Meta-Poly®

Meta-Poly® is a proprietary plating process that atomically bonds metal directly to a polymer substrate without using toxic chromic acid. Although medical device uses for Meta-Poly® are vast, it is especially exciting for catheter applications. With this innovation, manufacturers can precisely add current-conducting paths onto polymers. The type of metal is tailored to the application, and Meta-Poly® can be selectively applied to the desired component with endless design options.

Coating Precious Metal onto Polymers

Metal on polymers was first widely used by the automotive industry in the 1960s. It is still frequently performed by that industry today. It is commonly achieved through the electroless plating process. Traditionally, before coating can be applied, a chemical etching process is performed to prepare the surface of the polymer.

The Challenge

The chemical etching process traditionally used to prepare the plastic surface for plating involves toxic chromic acid-based solutions. Although this may be beneficial for adhesion and an acceptable process for the automotive industry, this toxic surface preparation is not acceptable for medical industry applications. There are readily available alternative methods, such as painting the polymer with metallic-filled paint so that the layer of paint is conductive and electroplating can then be applied. However, this method is also problematic in critical applications like medical devices due to the bond being only as strong as the paint, which causes adhesion failures. 

The Engineered Solution

ProPlate® undertook an in-depth analysis of the manufacturing process and innovated existing technologies to metallize polymer substrates, eliminating the need for chemical etching, adhesive backed foils, or metal-filled paints. This pioneering approach, known as ProPlate’s Meta-Poly®, stands as a breakthrough solution. Meta-Poly® is distinctive in that it eliminates chemical etching entirely while using pure metals, mitigating bio-compatibility concerns. Through this proprietary method, the bond between the polymer substrate and the coated metal achieves a level of durability akin to atomically electroplated metal-to-metal bonds, thus eradicating the adhesion challenges associated with alternative methods. ProPlate® has achieved success in metallization onto a range of polymer materials, including but not limited to PET, Pebax, PEEK, Polyamide, and Urethanes.

While the potential applications within the medical device field are boundless, Meta-Poly® holds particular promise for balloon catheter applications. For instance, ProPlate® can selectively introduce electrodes and current-conducting paths to polymer surfaces using Meta-Poly®, while still maintaining the plasticity properties of the base polymer substrates. This transformative approach not only mitigates the risk of electrode dislodgement but also maintains a low dimensional profile, delivers cost efficiencies, and offers boundless opportunities for design customization.

The Benefits
  • Reduce Device Profile
  • Biocompatible
  • Atomically Bonded Coating
  • Selectively Applied
  • Electrically Conductive
  • Maintain Polymer Plasticity
Potential Applications
  • Micro-Circuitry & Electrodes
  • Sensing & Signals
  • Stimulation & Ablation
  • Monitoring & Diagnostics
Have more Questions? Request a capabilities presentation with one of our business development specialists.

Meta-Poly®

Electrodes on Medical Balloons:

Client –Medical Equipment and Supplies OEM and reseller

The Product
Medical – Electrodes on Medical Balloons
Medical balloons require electrodes and trace patterns to connect to leads for ablation and sensor purposes. The electrodes and material must be bio-compatible for use in the human body during operations. The traditional options to integrate circuitry on a flexible polymer are mechanically bonding a conductive paint or adhesive-backed foil to the polymer substrate. Alternatively, ProPlate’s Meta-Poly® technology allows for an atomically bonded layer of pure Gold for electrical conductivity, biocompatibility, and reduced risk… 
 

To read more about the challenge and engineered solution please download the full case study.

Meta-Poly®

Coating Metals onto Polymer Substrates:

Client – Large Medical Device OEM

ProPlate_Balloons
The Product
Medical – Coating Precious Metal onto Plastic 
Coating metal on polymers was first widely used by the automotive industry in the 1960s. and is still frequently performed by that industry today. It is commonly achieved through the electroless plating process. Traditionally, before coating can be applied, a chemical etching process is performed to prepare the surface of the polymer…
 

To read more about the challenge and engineered solution please download the full case study.

Our robust metallizing processes are thoroughly designed and maintained to ensure the highest quality standards. Medical Device Quality System: ISO 13485:2016 Certified

We Are Dedicated to Partnering With Our Customers

Professional Plating Inc. has specialized in engineered coating solutions for the medical industry for more than 35 years. The company works with customers from the prototype development stage through production to create custom electroplating solutions designed for unique requirements. ProPlate® has pioneered selective precious metal plating innovations for medical devices and applications such as balloon catheters, radiopaque markers, and catheter-based components and continues to be an industry-leading electroplater.

proplate medical devices including balloons, meta-poly®, and vizi-band

Contact us to request information about our plating and metal finishing services

Meta-Poly-Electrodes on Medical Balloons
Meta-Poly-Plating Onto Plastics- Case Study

Have questions or need more information?

Ask an Expert!