As wearable medical devices continue to emerge, a growing older population coupled with an increasing incidence of chronic diseases requiring active monitoring is driving the need for durable yet comfortable adhesives, reports John Dugas, global business manager, 3M’s Critical and Chronic Care Solutions Division. “Whether it’s affixed for several hours, a day, or even a week, the device needs to stay attached to do its job,” he said.
3M’s 4076 Extended Wear Medical Tape, launched last August, was recently recognized with a Golden Mousetrap Award in the Materials & Assembly: Adhesives category. “Medical device manufacturers and engineers needed a long-term wear adhesive solution that increases patient comfort and provides a strong and reliable bond in challenging applications when adhering to skin,” Dugas told MD+DI. “The use of 4076 can allow for an extended wear time without negatively impacting the wearer’s comfort or skin health, if used appropriately. In fact, the extended wear capabilities can positively impact the wearer’s quality of life because they won’t have to think about their condition as often. The device won’t need to be changed as frequently—a practice that may help reduce the risk of a medical adhesive-related skin injury (MARSI).”
Dugas pointed to research that supports considerations for holding a device on skin for up to 14 days in Evaluation on How Tape Construction Effects Wear Time: 15-Day Study. 3M’s 4076 Extended Wear Medical Tape “currently is a leading product on the market in terms of wear time, due to the top layer of skin completely regenerating in approximately the same timeframe,” he explained.
Such skin-use conditions can be challenging. “Skin is a living, breathing, moisture-releasing organ that doesn’t behave the same from person to person. In fact, one of the only universal characteristics of skin is that it’s different for every person, impacted by age, heredity, environment, health, and diet,” Dugas explained. “While it’s undoubtedly incredible, skin’s unique characteristics also make it a challenge to adhere to. Not only do design engineers have to deal with skin’s unique properties, but they also deal with device requirements and end-user needs.”
As an example, Dugas pointed to “end-users who wear medical devices for tracking glucose levels or pumping fluids, among other critical health applications. [They] don’t want to remove their device more than absolutely necessary—doing so could negatively impact their skin’s health and is time consuming. Adhesives that are repeatedly removed from the same part of the body can also lead to a MARSI, such as skin stripping or tears.”
“Manufacturers do what they can to prevent these outcomes with the adhesives they produce,” he continued. “However, most adhesives on the market today can either adhere for a longer period of time or be comfortable, oftentimes forcing engineers to have to choose which is more important for their project. 3M’s 4076 Extended Wear Medical Tape removes the tough decision for engineers to pick either longer wear time for their stick to skin medical device or comfort by incorporating both attributes into one adhesive. Durable enough to adhere for up to 14 days, it’s a non-sensitizing adhesive that firmly bonds to the wearer’s skin while remaining comfortable to help the wearer forget they’re wearing a device at all.”
Dugas said that “since The Golden Mousetrap Awards acknowledge the American people, companies, and technologies driving innovation in product design and manufacturing, we are honored to receive this recognition and celebrate what it stands for. We are excited to have this product be a part of the next generation of healthcare innovations.”
Developing a device? Check out these upcoming conference sessions at BIOMEDevice Boston:
Vipul Davé (Research Director & Fellow, Global OTC Technology, Johnson & Johnson)
Thursday, April 19, 10:15am - 11:00am
Mike Baltay (President and CEO, BrainStem Biometrics Inc.)
Thursday, April 19, 2:00pm - 2:30pm