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Medical Adhesive Takes ’Stickiness’ to New Level

Designed for medical devices and long-term wearables, 3M’s adhesive doubles industry standard for extended wear time.

Norbert Sparrow

February 9, 2023

1 Min Read
medical wearable device
Image courtesy of 3M

3M has unveiled a new medical adhesive that can stick to the skin for up to 28 days, doubling the standard extended wear time of adhesives. The material is designed for use with an array of health monitors, sensors, and long-term medical wearables.

Longer wear time for devices and monitors may help drive down costs, accumulate more data for better decision making, and reduce patient disruption, said 3M.

The innovation comes at a propitious time, as the medical wearables market is booming. Its global value was estimated at $21.3 billion in 2021, according to business information firm Grand View Research, and is projected to expand at a 28% compound annual growth rate to reach just over $30 billion by 2026.

3M’s Medical Tape 4578 consists of a white spunlace polyester nonwoven backing coated with a pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesive. It was designed for applications that require packaging the skin-contact adhesive without a protective release liner and still retain the adhesion needed for several weeks of wear time. It can be safely stored for up to one year, according to 3M.

"Our 3M scientists created a technology and then pushed that tech to its boundaries without compromising skin health," said Chad Reed, director of global business for 3M Medical Materials and Technologies. "Medical wearables are a cornerstone for the future of healthcare, and we're committed to unlocking its potential with our world-class materials science."

Design engineers sourcing the appropriate adhesive for a medical device are invited to use 3M’s Find My Adhesive, an online resource that uses a series of project-specific questions to identify a list of suitable 3M medical adhesives.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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