Common Issues and Solutions in Medical Grade Adhesive Applications

Medical grade adhesives face a unique set of challenges due to their direct or indirect contact with the human body and the specific demands of various applications. Polymer Science adhesives offer great potential in addressing these challenges and can contribute to improved performance and functionality of medical devices. 

Here are some common medical issues and how our P-DERM® adhesives can help:

Bond Strength and Durability

Medical adhesives need to withstand various stresses and strains depending on the application. Surgical adhesives require strong bonds, while catheters need flexible, yet durable connections.

Luckily, different polymer chemistries offer varying degrees of stiffness, flexibility, and adhesion strength. Choosing the right polymer can provide the needed bond strength and maintain integrity during use. For example, cyanoacrylates offer rapid bonding and high initial strength, while epoxies provide excellent long-term durability and resistance to chemicals.

Biocompatibility and Tissue-Friendliness

Adhesives shouldn’t cause irritation, allergic reactions, or toxicity when interacting with skin or tissues. 

Biocompatible polymers, such as silicones and polyurethanes, minimize these risks. Additionally, adhesives can be formulated with additives that further enhance biocompatibility.

Sterilization Resistance

Many medical devices undergo sterilization to eliminate pathogens. Some adhesives degrade or lose adhesion after sterilization. This can open the patient up to infection and create more medical problems than the adhesive solved.

However, certain polymers, like polyetheretherketones (PEEKs), are highly resistant to common sterilization methods like autoclaving and irradiation. This ensures the adhesive’s functionality remains intact after sterilization.

Ease of Use and Application

Complex application processes or long curing times can be inconvenient in medical settings.

Adhesives can be designed for easy application in the form of tapes, gels, or sprays. Quick-curing polymers like UV-curable adhesives minimize downtime and improve efficiency. Polymer Science adhesives are ready to use at the point of application with no need for a second curing.

Beyond the Basics – Additional Benefits

Beyond these, adhesives can offer additional benefits like:

  • Design flexibility: Polymers can be tailored to specific needs with desired mechanical properties, surface characteristics, and biodegradability.
  • Lightweight nature: Adhesives can contribute to lighter medical devices, enhancing comfort and maneuverability.
  • Improved device functionality: Adhesives can enable miniaturization of devices and integration of complex functionalities.

No matter the challenges you face in your medical manufacturing, Polymer Science’s innovative product lines can provide the solutions. Our P-DERM® product line includes acrylics, hot melts, polyurethane adhesives, non-adhesive films, and Polymer Science’s innovative atraumatic, pain-free removal silicone gel and hydrogel adhesives. All P-DERM® skin contact adhesives are made in the USA.

Contact our team today and tell us about your medical-grade adhesive needs. We have solutions that are just right for your business.