what are biocompatible adhesives the ultimate guide

What are Biocompatible Adhesives? The Ultimate Guide

As the VP of product development, you owe it to your company to select the right pressure sensitive adhesive for your medical tapes. The products that you source should be high quality and match your performance needs. Most importantly, they need to be safe for human use without severe adverse effects. 

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand more about biocompatible adhesive medical tapes. 

In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:

What are Biocompatible Adhesives?

What are biocompatible adhesives, you ask? Biocompatible adhesives are a category of adhesive that is considered to be human-friendly and of medical-grade quality. They are generally used to bind together medical devices’ parts and perform surgical procedures. 

Unlike industrial adhesives, biocompatible adhesives are safe for humans and veterinary use purposes. 

So, they can be used on the body with no adverse side effects.  

What are Medical Device Adhesives?

Medical devices are delicate instruments since they’re used to diagnose or treat diseases. By all means, they should be safe for use, especially when they are to be inserted, injected, or applied on the body surface.

That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees that appropriate and human-safe medical devices are on the market and used in medical facilities. The FDA goes out of its way to achieve this goal by ensuring the medical devices are top-notch and non-harmful to humans. 

This leaves the medical equipment manufacturers no option but to use the right techniques to make medically fit medical devices. That being said, this is where medical-grade biocompatible adhesives come in handy as they’re used to bind different medical device parts.

As the VP of product development, always remember that human life depends on your actions. So, it’s important to do the right things when sourcing supplies for the manufacturing of medical devices. Also, when assembling medical device parts, it’s best to use biomedical adhesives because they’re safe for humans and animals.

Types of Medical Adhesives


There are at least three types of medical adhesives in the medical world, depending on the material of manufacture and the mode of application. These include pressure-sensitive adhesives, dissolvable adhesive films, and electrically conductive adhesives.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs)

Pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) are made from various materials like acrylic, silicone, and rubber. You only require little pressure to apply PSAs on the target surface, making them easy to use medical adhesives. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are mainly used to create bandages and tapes.

Dissolvable Adhesive Films

Dissolvable adhesive films are created to react with different variables like liquids and heat to achieve the desired effect. 

These adhesives are used for different purposes like diagnosing infectious diseases and treatment of dreadful conditions. 

Using dissolvable adhesive films is one of the ways to stabilize sensitive reagents in the medical space. Therefore, the films come in handy to act as safe storage for highly sensitive reagents. They can also be used to deliver therapeutic agents and regulating liquid flow-through devices.

Electrical Conductive Adhesives

Electrical conductive adhesives are made from medical sensors compatible materials. The adhesive materials are a combination of pharmaceutical ingredients existing in two forms—film and gel.

Medical Device Adhesive Buying Guide: What to Consider

Considerations for Buying Medical Device Adhesives

According to FDA guidelines, all medical devices should be medically fit for use. 

Medical product development decision-makers, therefore, have no option but to comply with these requirements. That being said, how do you know the suitable biocompatible adhesive to use? Below is the buying guide of what to consider to make an informed buying decision.

Passes the Major Biocompatibility Test

Adhesives are only declared fit for medical use after rigorous tests. The two main tests used to validate the quality and safety of medical adhesives are USP VI Standardization and ISO 10993 Certification.

  • USP VI Standardization: This is a rigorous way of testing materials for biocompatibility. The test certifies devices are safe for use and that they don’t pose side effects. The standards are set by United States Pharmacopeia, which also does the testing.
  • ISO 10993 Certification: This is a more advanced medical device testing technique that yields better results than the USP VI testing. The testing involves 20 standardization metrics developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Material Composition

The typical materials used to make medical device adhesives are acrylate, silicone, polyurethane, natural rubber, hydrocolloids, and hydrogels. Rubber adhesives are sturdy and tolerate moisture. Acrylate adhesives are low-sensitizing and considered hypoallergenic.

Silicone adhesives are super gentle to the skin and are also low-sensitizing. On the other hand, Hydrocolloids adhesives can be pretty unreliable because the nature of adhesion varies over time.

Type of Adhesive

Depending on the desired end goal, you can either go with pressure-sensitive adhesives, dissolvable adhesive films, or electrical conductive adhesives. The different types of adhesives come in handy for different situations.

Pressure-sensitive adhesives are simple and easy to use. They’re ideal for anyone looking for single and double-sided medical tapes. Dissolvable adhesive films are best for stabilizing and storing reactive reagents. Lastly, electrically conductive adhesives are best for use in medical sensors. 

Biocompatible Adhesives: Commonly Asked Questions

1. What is a waterproof adhesive for?

  • A waterproof adhesive is a sturdy adhesive that forms a weather resistible bond and isn’t affected by micro-organisms.

2. Which adhesives are biocompatible?

  • Biocompatible adhesives are tested and pass the USP VI and ISO 10993 biocompatibility tests.

3. Is epoxy biocompatible?

  • Epoxy is biocompatible because it passes the USP VI biocompatibility test.

Wrapping Up

Medical tape development requires an expert partner. Here at Lamart Corporation, we have the experience and technical knowledge to produce high-quality medical tapes that are biocompatible. Contact us today to learn more.

Craig Hirsh

Craig is a third-generation owner of Lamart Corporation with over ten years of experience developing custom-designed products to meet customer specifications and expectations.