Painless removal of innovative skin-friendly adhesive by cooling the area
Made of biocompatible material with excellent properties for bandages and wound dressings, it has been developed by the University of Alicante Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory
José Miguel Martín and Mónica Fuensanta show the new material with excellent properties for bandages and wound dressings
Alicante, Thursday, 29 November 2018
Researchers from the University of Alicante Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory have developed an innovative adhesive capable of sticking to the skin with light pressure. Other than offering high tolerance, this new plastic material — polyurethane — leaves no residue and can be removed painlessly by slightly cooling the area.
Biocompatible and transparent, this breakthrough in the biomaterials sector is intended for medical products although it also has excellent properties for the labelling and transport of goods or refrigerated food.
According to researchers Monica Fuensanta and Jose Miguel Martin, developers of the new adhesive, the main goal has been to produce a material similar to plasters or bandages with the property of sticking to surfaces at skin temperature (around 37°C). When cooled to room temperature, 20-25°C, it can be removed without any extra effort. The great potential of this novelty lies in avoiding the usual discomfort to patients when detaching bandages and surgical dressings, and even the muscle support tape used in kinesiotherapy.
In the health sector, polyurethane is a very widespread material due to its great compatibility with human tissues, but its main drawback is its low adherence. Thanks to the work of the University of Alicante researchers, this barrier has been overcome, obtaining an intelligent, pressure-sensitive adhesive that can be adapted to the needs of each sector.
There are a number of pressure-sensitive adhesives on the market although all of them require additives. The adhesive developed at the UA does not require any added substance because the structure of the polyurethane is determined through its formulation, as the researchers explained.
The main features of this material designed at the UA is that by slightly varying the composition and synthesis conditions, adhesives are obtained with specific tackiness indexes that operate in short and relevant temperature ranges. Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory Director José Miguel Martín stated that through some simple formulations they have been able to change the temperature range in which the adhesion is produced.
In particular, formulations have been optimised for several ranges: The first, between 10°C and 39°C, focusing on the optimal point of adhesion at 37°C, and less or no adhesion at a temperature below 25°C. Ideal parameters for use in contact with the skin in the medical and pharmacological scope.
The second, between 5°C and 20°C, for special applications such as labelling and transport of goods at room temperature (fresh food, beverages, etc.), and finally, between -10°C and 5°C, for the transport of refrigerated goods.
Researcher Monica Fuensanta revealed that many of the products we consume regularly must be kept under very specific temperature conditions and well-preserved labels can be an indicator that the package has maintained the pre-established temperature conditions over time.