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Hydrocolloid Adhesives for Medical Applications

SpecialChem / Dec 5, 2007

Hydrocolloid adhesives are unique in that they can act as an adhesive, and they are also capable of absorbing fluids without losing their adhesion. These are multiphase polymeric structures that consist of a continuous rubbery phase into which is dispersed a particulate absorbent material, which constitutes the discontinuous phase. Hydrocolloids have been around for many decades in the food industry as thickeners, stabilizers of emulsions, and film and gel formers to improve water retention and texture properties. More recently, hydrocolloid adhesives have been developed for the medical industry. In medicine, the primary use of hydrocolloid adhesives is to attach a wound dressing. In the presence of a wound, hydrocolloids absorb liquid to form a gel, the properties of which are determined by the nature of the formulation. The challenge is to optimize the formulation and the structure of the polymer to give a balance of high moisture vapor transmission, good skin adhesion, and protection from bacterial infection.

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