ANAHEIM, Calif.—3M Inc. has a new product, and a new website to help customers find their products with ease.
The firm released a new acrylic-based adhesive, 3M 4076 extended wear medical tape, designed to help medical device manufacturers in long-term wear applications. The product is the first on the market to have a 14-day extended wear on the skin for medical devices, according to Marcello Napol, 3M's global business director for medical materials and technologies.
"In certain applications, having longer wear time was very attractive to the customer set for ultimate performance in the marketplace," Napol said. "The sheer physiology of the skin makes it a challenge because skin renews itself constantly. At various levels underneath a patch or a device, you're going to have varying levels of renewal of a skin. Fourteen days is a theoretical upper limit of wear time, but obviously we continue to challenge that."
The non-sensitizing adhesive was developed for long-term wear, and Napol said the product creates a firm bond without discomfort. The product is compliant with ISO:10993 and ISO:10993-10, medical industry regulations assessing a product's potential to produce irritation and skin sensitization.
The adhesive was honored with a Golden Mousetrap award at MD&M West, held in Anaheim from Feb. 6-8.
"The wearables trend is here to stay," Napol said. "We have a very decent runway ahead in many form factors. When precision or more of a true medical or health care driven need is required, stick-to-skin seems to be the superior factor."
3M also recently launched a new website, FindMyAdhesive.com, a product selector tool designed to help design engineers to hone in on technical solutions through a product hierarchy of decisions—including patient population, length of time, type of skin and more.
"The earlier we work with companies on the design of their device, the more we can avoid challenges down the path that they might have in their design relative to their stick-to-skin side," Napol said. "We want to understand the patient population they're working with, the size and mass of the device, the device's composition, and the wear time on the skin."
The site was launched on Jan. 3 and the company said preliminary feedback has been positive. Currently, design engineers have been looking for more products to be put into it. The website currently includes 80 of 3M's products and counting. The service is free to customers and potential customers, allowing both to get samples faster.
"Our team is in high demand across the world," Napol said. "It's another tool to help our customers and prospective customers and partners to do problem solving lights out or when we were not available. Some customers want to do their own tinkering before engaging us, or verifying their own ideas based on their experience with their portfolio. But we're finding that we're reaching new audiences who may or may not have known what the offerings or lead players were in the med device OEM space for stick-to-skin."