Adding Moisture-Permeability to Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Helps Protect Skin from Effects of Wearable Devices

Posted on 7/14/2020 8:50:32 AM By ASC

Adhesive changes have been made to the pressure-sensitive adhesive sheets used to adhere small monitoring devices directly to the skin in the medical, physical fitness, and study analysis sectors. This is being done to lessen the chances of these commonly-used units affecting the skin if they are worn for a long period, as well as to solve the problem of how to balance the adhesion on the PSA sheet so that it will adhere strongly to the device, while at the same time keeping adhesion to the skin at a moderate level.

Without incorporating moisture permeability the user’s skin has been found to react to sweat and other moisture released by the skin, often leading to maceration and causing the top layer of the skin to peel. After testing the suitability of both silicone and acrylic pressure adhesives, a polyurethane resin, often used for other medical devices that make content with the skin, such as catheters, medical tubes and artificial organs, has been developed. 

The polyether polyol in the polyurethane and the addition of ethylene oxide, contributes both water resistance and moisture permeability as well as ultra-low by-product content, high molecular weight and narrow molecular weight distribution to its biocompatibility. At the same time, comparative tests showed the polyurethane PSA topping the silicone and acrylic ones in terms of adherence selectivity, so allowing for difference levels of adhesion for adhering the PSA to the device and the skin.

With the use of these wearable devices becoming common practice in many sectors of the medical world where scans and procedures like electrocardiograms and electroencephalograms need to be tracked at all times, or analyses have to be assimilated for studies. Outside the hospital, these miniature devices have also entered the physical fitness sector, where runners and other exercisers have adopted them as tools to monitor their progress and physical condition while hitting the road, or being active in the gym.

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