Types of Medical Grade Adhesives & Tapes
Medical-grade adhesives and tapes are biocompatible, and usually meet BIOCOMP 10993 specs and FDA regulations for direct skin contact. These materials consist of single or double-coated films, foams, and woven or non-woven fabrics coated with acrylic, rubber, or silicone adhesives, as well as hydrogels and hydrocolloids. These biocompatible tapes and materials are often used for medical devices, wearables, wound care, and consumer personal care products.
Medical Grade Adhesives for Direct and Indirect Skin Contact
Medical-grade adhesives are not only used to stick to the skin but also used to bond medical devices ranging from wound closure and wound coverings to health monitors and beauty applications. These adhesives must be strong enough to withstand long-term wear, harsh sterilization, and grueling environments, while also remaining non-toxic and safe for use around patients. Since many medical products are single-use and produced in mass quantities, custom die-cut adhesives are a perfect solution to get your device effectively and efficiently to the masses and make it easy for the end-user to use and remove.
Stick to Skin Adhesives
Adhering devices, patches, and monitors to the skin have become a critical portion of the overall system to treat, medicate, and monitor health. When designing a skin-friendly device, it is important to balance between using a weight-bearing adhesive that will hold the device in place while also avoiding excessive skin irritation and discomfort to the patient. Clean and gentle removal of the device is also an important consideration in both short- and long-term wear.
Every person’s skin is different and reacts differently in varying environments. There are many factors to consider when needing an adhesive or component to stick to the skin.
Skin Attributes Affecting Adhesive Adhesion
- Sterilization requirements
- Age (neo-natal to geriatric)
- Breathability MVTR
- Wear duration < 24 hours to 14+ days
- Body location/where on body device is located
- Gentle or aggressive adhesion
- Hydrophilic or hydrophobic
- Moisture and water resistance
- Release liner characteristics
- Repeat use
- Skin type and tape color
Whether you need skin-friendly materials or aggressive materials used for constructing the medical or wearable device, MBK will custom design and manufacture quality and reliable product that is easily applied by the clinician, patient, and consumer.
Medical Adhesive Transfer Tape consists of a pressure-sensitive medical-grade adhesive coated directly onto a siliconized release liner. This unsupported adhesive is used in the medical, healthcare, and electronics industries for device mounting, foam bonding, surgical and wound care applications.
Transfer tapes are a rigid and durable material which makes it easier for converters to produce accurate finished parts that meet tight tolerance standards.
Single-Sided Medical Tapes consists of a film, foam, nonwoven, or metal substrate coated on one side with pressure-sensitive medical-grade adhesive, protected by a silicone release liner. These tapes are used in the medical, healthcare, and electronic industries for devices and applications that require direct skin contact.
Double-Sided Medical Tapes consists of a film, foam, the woven or nonwoven substrate coated on both sides with pressure-sensitive medical-grade adhesive, often designed for temporary adhesion to the skin on one side and permanent bonding to a device. For stick-to-skin applications, double-sided medical tape offers hypoallergenic, breathable, conformable, and repositionable options, with a gentle or aggressive adhesive for short and long-term wear. For medical device assembly, double-sided medical tape offers a range of adhesive strengths, thicknesses, and backing materials to suit your individual bonding needs.
These double-coated medical tapes offer improved internal strength and greater dimensional stability, making it amenable to converting.
Medical silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives and silicone gel adhesives offer a secure yet gentle adhesion to the skin, naturally, conform to the contours of the body, and can be repositioned and removed with no trauma to the skin. Silicone tapes deliver a clean and comfortable wear experience and are ideal for chronic wounds and sensitive skin like neonatal and geriatric patients for both long and short-term wear. Typically, silicone adhesives are breathable, hypoallergenic, and resistant to moisture and bacteria.
Silicone medical tapes are available as single-sided or double-sided tape on film and nonwoven backings and bond directly to the skin as well as to films, nonwovens, and foams.
Hydrogel Adhesives are designed to hold moisture to the skin surface, offering a soothing and gentle solution for a variety of skin contact applications including device fixation, transdermal drug delivery, ECG signaling, defibrillation electrodes, electrosurgical grounding pads, TENS, wearables, wound care, and cosmetics. Hydrogels can be customized by adding additives to the existing formulations, such as vitamins, menthol, fragrances, etc. Hydrogels are biocompatible with the skin, conformable, and remove gently without residue.
Hydrocolloid Adhesives are transparent gel-like conformable material that provides non-breathable adhesion to the skin allowing moisture to be trapped under the surface and promoting the healing process. Most hydrocolloids are waterproof so that patients can wear them for several days through normal washing. Hydrocolloid absorbs bodily fluids and wound exudate, making it ideal for ostomy and wound care applications.
Nonwoven and Woven Medical Tapes use a medical-grade acrylic, rubber, or silicone adhesive, ideal for device attachment, medical devices, wearables, and wound care. The breathable and conformable material provides a moderate stretch and excellent adhesion to the skin.
As a specialty adhesive converter, MBK has the capabilities to customize the construction to meet your specific application requirements. Our converting capabilities include die-cutting simple to complex designs, multi-layer laminating, printing, prototyping, and ISO Class 8 cleanroom manufacturing and packaging.
Medical Film Tapes are typically composed of Polyurethane, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Co-polyester films coated with medical-grade acrylic, rubber, or silicone adhesive. Typically, medical films are thin, strong, tear-resistant yet can be easily cut. They are conformable, transparent and ETo and gamma compatible.
Medical films are available with or without adhesive, in various thicknesses.
Medical foam products are used in the health care industry for applications such as sealing in medical devices, patient and medical device cushioning, and fluid management in long-term wear wound dressings. Typically, medical foam is soft, conformable, breathable, stretchable, and durable. Open-cell foams are absorbent while closed-cell foams, such as Polyethylene and Neoprene, are water, fungal and stain-resistant.
Medical foams are available in a range of colors, densities, and thicknesses, with or without adhesive.
Medical Converting Capabilities
As a specialty adhesive converter, MBK has the capabilities to customize the materials and construction to meet your specific application requirements. The MBK engineers will source the best medical-grade adhesives and tapes for your application and design for manufacturing considering performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
Our capabilities include, but are not limited to, multi-layer laminations, simple to complex die-cutting, slitting to custom widths, extended liners and pull tabs, island placement, printing, registration, roll rewinding and custom liners. From prototyping and testing through full-scale production, MBK makes for an ideal partner at every stage of your product cycle.
We are an FDA-registered medical device contract and component manufacturer (CM) and will provide documentation and certification for all materials and processes. MBK converts and packages materials in an ISO 8/Class 100,000 cleanroom and is ISO 9001-2015 certified for quality management.