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"AST is proud to offer environmentally friendly surface solutions to enhance product performance in the medical device, semiconductor, microelectronics, and advanced materials industries."
Surface treatments have been used to enhance the maneuverability and functionality of medical devices. Today, applications such as lubricious coatings on catheters that minimize tissue trauma are common in the medical device market. Recently, the trend in surface coatings is to focus on how to impart therapeutic benefits to devices since companies recognize that the value, perceived and actual, of coated devices as compared to that of bare devices is higher. One of the best examples of this trend is the soon to be released metal stent coated with anti-restenotic coatings that prevent blood vessel re-closure after angioplasty. AST's VascuLAST™ , HemoLAST™, RepelaCOAT™ and pHreeCOAT™ coatings are examples of device enhancement coatings and we are involved in a number of research projects with other companies to develop customized coatings for device enhancement.
Site-Specific Delivery
Do surface treatments need to be attached to medical devices in order to deliver a therapeutic effect? As experts in medical coatings, AST recognizes that the value of surface treatment goes beyond merely that of being an "add-on" to a device. We believe that coatings can deliver therapeutics independent of devices to certain organs and tissues. Two projects developed with this vision have shown promise for expanding coating application from beyond devices to include live tissue and organs.

Ophthalmic Coatings

Solutions have been applied to treat anterior chamber diseases for centuries. Among the many conditions plaguing patients, dry eye has been chosen to be AST's primary target. Dry eye symptoms trouble nearly everyone. In fact, market surveys reveal that there are 2 to 3 bottles of dry-eye solutions kept by an American family at any given time. The market size for dry-dye solutions is estimated to be $250M and is expected to grow to $350M within the next seven years. A small-scale clinical trial has been conducted that AST's formula extends retention in eyes to 60 minutes after application. By contrast, the second best, currently available commercial product was retained for only 15 minutes. AST has two patents pending (US Patent Application #10/207,375 and 10/207,306) for this long lasting eye formula and is currently in licensing negotiations with several major pharmaceutical companies. Incorporation of other drugs into this extended therapeutic eye formula is underway.


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