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By Kate Gluck on  6/14/2022

Low-Trauma Skin-Contact Adhesives with Berry Global

low trauma skin contact adhesives

Advancements in medical adhesive technologies have made wearable medical devices an increasingly popular choice for drug delivery, health diagnostics, and continuous health monitoring. Selecting the right adhesive for each application is critical to avoid adverse outcomes. Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury (MARSI) is damage to the skin that occurs from improper selection, application, and/or removal of medical adhesives. MARSI includes skin tears, skin stripping, blisters, maceration, folliculitis, allergic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. It can affect skin integrity, cause pain, increase infection risk, and delay healing.

Low trauma medical adhesives are designed to reduce the incidence of MARSI in patients with sensitive skin. We recently spoke with Svetlana Contrada, Ph.D., Product Development Manager and Brian Hall, National Sales Manager for Berry Global to get their perspectives on low trauma adhesives and the Berry Global low trauma adhesive product line.

Low Trauma Skin Contact Adhesives

Medical adhesives need to strike a specific balance of three key criteria to be effective. They must:

  1. Have sufficient initial adhesion and tack to bond to skin
  2. Provide enough adhesion to remain in place for the required wear time
  3. Have the ability to remove without causing skin damage or pain

The most common materials used for low trauma adhesives are acrylics and silicones. “Generally speaking, lower adhesion level translates into lower trauma upon removal from skin. Silicones are a popular choice for low trauma products, but may not meet other application requirements such as extended skin wear time as well as adhesion and cost targets. Low trauma medical acrylics are less painful upon removal in combination with the higher adhesion to a variety of substrates typically used in many applications,” said Contrada. Conformable foams and low basis weight non-woven fabrics provide comfortable options for carriers. Multiple constructions are available including single and double coated tapes, foam products, transfer tapes, and differential tapes.

Patient Risk Factors for Skin-Contact Adhesives

Skin is a unique substrate and varies from person to person. Demographic factors like gender, race, activity level and even the environment play a role in adhesive performance. Perhaps most importantly, skin sensitivity increases with certain age groups and medical conditions. The following patient types are considered to be at high risk for MARSI and require a gentler adhesive:

  • Elderly patients with age-related skin fragility
  • Neonatal and pediatric patients with under-developed skin
  • Patients with medical conditions such as diabetes, allergies, poor diet, etc.

Low Trauma Applications for Stick-to-Skin Adhesives

Low trauma adhesives are used in a variety of medical applications that require a die-cut product. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Wearable medical device components
    • Pulse oximetry
    • Medication delivery systems
  • Sensor components
  • Patient monitoring
  • Island/Border dressing
  • Negative-pressure wound therapy

Skin Contact Adhesive Selection Process

Choosing the right low trauma adhesive depends on the die-cut product application. Berry Global works with customers to find the ideal adhesive for their applications. “We definitely go through a process working with our end users, OEM’s, and converting partners to understand the overall application before a recommendation is made. Device size, location, wear times, skin sensitivity levels, etc. impact adhesive selection. Simply put, we ask lots of questions,” said Hall.

For more insight, read:


Featured Products

Berry Global does have some go-to products for the short-term wear low-trauma market that include multiple substrates and carriers. Constructions can be further customized to meet a client’s specific application needs.

M129 Adhesive Family - Short-term wear acrylic (TR – 9728, 9730 / DC- 9254M, 9256M)

  • Excellent balance of peel, tack, and shear
  • Excellent adhesion to skin, and a variety of surfaces
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • Gamma radiation resistant
  • Non-cytotoxic and non-irritating
  • Die cuts cleanly
berry global adhesives

M130 Adhesive Family - Short-term wear acrylic (DC- 8311M -LS)

  • Permanent/Removable double coat tape
  • High tack and shear (AS), excellent adhesion to skin and bonds to a variety of surfaces
  • Low trauma liner side; good bond to skin; clean, easy removability
  • Gamma radiation resistant
  • Non-cytotoxic and non-irritating

3614A – Next Generation Non-Woven Tape

  • Low coat weight, low trauma removable
  • Breathable carrier for maximum patient comfort, highly conformable
  • Exceptional resistance to perspiration-borne moisture, low trauma removal from skin

Check out the Berry Global Medical Adhesive Tapes Product Guide  or the Polyken Medical Overview to learn more.

Adhesive Coater + Converting Partners = Greater Value

 “A medical device typically has multiple layers of adhesive, plastic, non-woven, etc. It can be a stack of four or five items which are converted in line. The process to unwind, apply, laminate, die-cut, remove waste, and rewind is a highly engineered process resulting in the desired finished product. Die-cutting in its simplest form is sharp metal and pressure; however, meeting tight tolerances and performing technical processes like multiple layer lamination and island placement are a key part of the processes few material converters are able to do well. Working with top quality converting partners like JBC Technologies allows Berry Global to provide additional value for our customers,” said Hall.

Convert Your Design Concepts Into Reality

For over thirty years JBC Technologies has utilized its engineering expertise and breadth of vertically integrated converting capabilities to turn rolls of flexible materials into custom die-cut parts. As a premier flexible materials converter, JBC Technologies partners with many industry-leading material manufacturers like Berry Global to provide its customers with the highest quality die-cut products.

Contact us today to learn more about how our custom solutions can help you convert your wearable medical device and other design concepts into reality

Stick-to-Skin Medical Material Selection Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives Tapes Berry Global

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