Long-term medical wearables are often limited by the adhesives that are used to stick them to the skin. The skin needs to breathe and glues can prevent that, remaining in the skin’s pores even after removal of a bandage or stick-on ECG electrode. The materials have to be biocompatible and non-irritating, as well as avoiding sensitizing the skin during prolonged use.
3M is now releasing a new product, the 4076 Extended Wear Medical Tape, that is designed for use with medical devices and suited for wear for up to two weeks. It’s meant to stick well even on sweaty individuals and to remain in place on moving parts of the body without having to be reapplied.
3M believes that this acrylic-based non-sensitizing material will allow new medical products to be developed and deployed. “Sticking to skin presents a major challenge to the medical device industry,” in a published statement said Diana Eitzman, Ph.D., director of agile commercialization, 3M Critical and Chronic Care Solutions Division. “By equipping our customers with the latest adhesive technology, we’re giving them the power to solve their toughest design challenges and positively impact patients’ lives globally.”