The needs of the medical industry are varied and many. Adhesives are increasingly playing a part in the creation of innovative medical products. For instance, non-toxic adhesives that are biocompatible are being used in medical appliances, wearables and surgery. In order to assist device manufacturers, one-part epoxies with varying viscosities have been developed.
Medical tapes and films are also undergoing development. The films must exclude pathogens, while allowing the skin to breathe. While they must stick to skin, sometimes for periods of up to seven days, they should not adhere to other substrates such as stitches. When the film is removed, it should not damage skin. Stick-to-skin films are used to secure dressings, drug-delivering patches, monitoring devices and to support injured joints.
Plans to use implantable silicone chips that dissolve in time for medical use present a new challenge to the adhesives industry. Further advances as yet to be used in human trials involve the use of photopolymers to block breaches in tissues such as that of the heart using a balloon catheter. The adhesive is cured using a UV light attached to the catheter and dissolves as the tissue heals.