PolarSeal Tapes & Conversions have teamed up with science-based technology giant 3M as well as coating & laminating experts FLEXcon to create wearable medical device adhesive solutions fit for a growing and demanding market.
With the wearable technology market surpassing $116.2 billion in 2021(1), and demand rising alongside this exponential market growth, global medical technology companies are realising the market potential and developing user centric solutions such as glucose patches and smartwatches to aid in the recovery and monitoring of human health.
Conceptualising and realising a medical monitoring wearable device requires disciplined project management, especially stick-to-skin solutions, and several layers of external involvement. PolarSeal now looks to service this need by upgrading a medically focused converting service with the knowledge of material professionals 3M and coating specialist FLEXcon.
The material and adhesive selection plays a pivotal role and is the starting point in this process. With over a century of innovation, 3M aid in many industry developments including its medical and healthcare contribution with newly designed materials for wearable devices. Matthew Berdahl, global converter channel manager with 3M’s Medical Materials and Technologies business provides some insight on 3M’s latest innovation in the extended wear adhesive space.
He said: “People deserve to live active lives without their condition – or a device meant to monitor it – getting in the way. Adhesives are more than a simple material. They have the potential to unlock longer wear times, slimmer device profiles, and more. We’re excited about 3M Medical Tape 4576 and what it can offer device developers and real-time, proactive health monitoring as a whole.”
3M Medical Tape 4576 is an acrylate-based adhesive intended for applications that require up to a 21-day wear time. The tape aims to be flexible, conformable and with its adhesion to the skin, this new product can be used for devices that require continuous extended wear, both in and out of care facilities.
As part of 3M’s medical adhesives, 3M Medical Tape 4576 builds was made possible through a collaborative, global effort.
Further medical grade adhesives to consider for your application would include:
- Silicone adhesives – gentle and breathable with low trauma removal suitable for a variety of skin types.
- Acrylic adhesives – a Pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) that is permeable to water vapor and breathable without leaving residue upon removing the device.
- Synthetic rubber adhesives – a strong adhesive designed for short term use due to the lack of breathability.
With a user-friendly and application appropriate adhesive material selected, PolarSeal use its contract manufacturing service and in-house converting capabilities to design, develop, collaborate, and full scale manufacture the specified adhesive component for the wearable medical device. All of PolarSeal’s ISO 7 cleanroom facilities operate under ISO 14644:2015 and ISO 13485 quality standards.
PolarSeal’s partner, FLEXcon, who provide label materials for all applications and industries bring Biocompatible Skin Coated Adhesives to the market with the intent to evolve the industry with high end and purposeful properties.
Jordan Smith, business process improvement manager at FLEXcon introduces two of the company’s latest solutions for medical monitoring devices.
FLEXcon dermaFLEX materials are biocompatible and recommended for device attachment to the body. It contains three tiers of adhesion – Gentle Release, General Use, and Long-Term Wear as well as finished formats, including single-coated, double-coated and transfer tapes.
dermaFLEX NNRU utilises FLEXcon’s H-566 adhesive, offering durable anchorage of devices and suitability for challenging skin types. The nylon-reinforced urethane disappears in both sight and feel. It’s thin and flexible enough to conform to body contours and stretch with movement, but also return to its original dimensions without becoming baggy. dermaFLEX is a stocked product.
PolarSeal aims to partner with suppliers and like-minded companies so it can provide a range of PSA’s and medical grade materials to serve global medical technology companies. The company specialises in flexible material and adhesive tape conversion, with the aim of providing cost effective and performance-based solutions for the medtech market.