There are now a number of medical devices that are wearable and these require adhesives that can keep the device on the body and its ability to adhere to the skin is a major factor in how well it will function. There are a number of factors that can affect how well the adhesion works. Even so, these devices are playing a major role in many healthcare advancements and this is raising the demand for these options. Here we will take a look at how to select the best adhesive for medical wearables.
If The Adhesive Fails The Device Cannot Function
It will be imperative to take the time to select the right adhesive for your wearable device because although it is a fairly small aspect, it is key in determining the effectiveness and functionality of the device and if the adhesive fails so does the device. The human skin has different characteristics from one person to another and the specific wearable device will have its own characteristics such as weight, size, application purposes, and flexibility.
Because of all these factors, each will have to be considered when selecting the adhesive. In general, it will need to be an adhesive that meets stringent criteria. It has to be able to adhere to the skin regardless of whether the skin is perspiring or dry and whether or not the person using it has sensitive skin or not. The device itself will need to continue to be affixed to the body regardless of the type of activity a person might be doing and even if they are taking a shower.
At the same time, the adhesive has to be able to remain affixed to the skin when the device is being used and also has to be able to be removed from the body without causing injury or damage to the skin. Some individuals have more sensitive skin than others and the adhesive is chosen has to accommodate the individual and this means that one with sensitive skin may need one type while someone with little or no sensitivity could use another type effectively.
The Requirements To Look For In An Adhesive For Medical Wearable Devices
Skin is a living thing and each person’s skin is different. If a person perspires a lot or they have surface tension then this can affect the adhesion to the person’s body. For this reason, there isn’t any one solution that will meet everyone’s needs for securing their wearable medical products.
Begin making your choice by first identifying the specifics about the individual’s skin that’s going to be using the device. Next, decide on where the device is going to be placed. It will also be necessary to know the approximate number of reapplications that will be needed.
The size and the weight of the medical device will need to be known in order to properly choose the correct adhesive. It will also be necessary to understand how the device attaches to the adhesive patch. It is often considered to be expensive to simply do trial and error. Even so, doing trial and error can be an effective way of determining the best adhesive for many situations and skin types.
Some of the characteristics that you need to understand about adhesives include their vapor transmission rate, as well as their tack and sheer and their peel aspects. Knowing these different properties can help you decide on the right adhesive. It’s also helpful to know these things so that if the first choice of adhesive fails to perform as you would need it to, then it will allow you to make your second selection more likely to succeed.
Using Skin Surrogates
Another way that has been used to effectively choose the right adhesive is by using skin surrogates. Some of these were specifically developed to test different cosmetic products. The one thing that needs to be addressed is that the surrogates will need to follow standardized preparation techniques and the adhesive itself needs to be a similar weight from one to another in order to make a correct evaluation.
Conduct A Study Using Volunteers
Getting a good selection of individuals that represent the most common skin types would be one of the best ways to determine which adhesive would be best for a particular wearable medical device. The study of volunteers should be done by there actually wearing the specific device being tested for. The surrogate itself will need to be approximately the same thickness, shape, and weight as the actual application.
Some who have conducted similar studies failed to do so with the device and this led to miscalculations. It’s very necessary to conduct the study with the device to determine its weight and stiffness as well as how to manage the moisture underneath the device because these are all major factors in how the adhesive will perform. Other factors that should be tested during the study include whether or not the participants felt the device was comfortable. Was there any damage or stripping of the skin when the device was removed?
It is possible that such a study might find unexpected results. These unexpected results should not be ignored. It is possible to revert to the rheology data that was generated at an earlier date in the cycle when working to improve alternatives. When results yield satisfactory conclusions then a clinical study can be done to further support the commercial launch of a new device.
Consider Working With A Supplier
Often working directly with a supplier can expedite your understanding of the materials and it can save a lot of time and mishaps in the research. It is likely you can find a team of engineers and technical staff that will be able to help with solutions which will, in turn, allow you to more expeditiously move to production. Don’t forget to consider what outside stresses the device might be exposed to when being used. This is another of those factors that can significantly alter the needs of the device and the adhesive being used.