3M has a rich adhesive history. We’re known for our household staples like Scotch® tape and Post-it® Notes; and our VHB™ tape – which bonds to just about anything – is ubiquitous in the transportation and construction industries. But did you know tapes that stick to skin – and adhesives that stick to teeth – also happen to be our specialty?
In fact, 3M Health Care’s roots began with tape. In the late 1940s, a team of doctors asked 3M to make a surgical drape that would adhere to skin. The same technology we use to make gift wrapping easier and make personal memos movable inspires the solutions that help nurses secure IV dressings, dentists restore teeth and orthodontists adhere braces.
3M scientists can take one of many tape formulations and combine it with chemistry to create a strong water-based adhesive. Or, they can infuse foam with unique adhesives to create an amazingly strong, easy-to-use bonding tape. Our deep, company-wide expertise and the adhesive element of our 46 core technologies drives these innovations forward.
3M Health Care adhesives meet a variety of healthcare needs, from helping braces stay inside our mouths to mitigating risk for Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury or MARSI.
3M medical dressings can help cover and protect IV sites. Clinicians consider a variety of factors when adhering dressings to skin. 3M™ Tegaderm™ CHG Chlorhexidine Gluconate I.V. Securement Dressings,* help clinicians quickly see and identify catheter-associated skin injury (CASI) at the IV site and offers antimicrobial properties that help guard against infection.
Clinicians often choose 3M tapes based on the intended use, or securement type (PDF, 861.71 KB). Does the tape need to be flexible, multi-purpose, or high-strength? Is the patient’s skin fragile, dry or damp? Answers to these questions will influence the type of 3M tape clinicians choose. As clinicians aim to guard against infection, individually-packaged tapes are designed to help reduce the risk of cross contamination.
From skin-friendly body-worn adhesives to aggressive medical adhesives used in the actual construction of devices, 3M medical adhesives are the secret ingredient in wearable devices.
3M medical tapes and films are used in microfluidic devices that help deliver rapid results to patients and providers. The applications for microfluidic devices include chronic disease monitoring, cancer screening, genetic biomarker detection and more.
3M orthodontic adhesives allow orthodontists to adhere braces to teeth during orthodontic treatment. Just like Post-it® Notes are comprised of paper with pre-coated adhesive, 3M offers brackets pre-coated with adhesive, so orthodontists can simply pick and place them on the teeth. The newest version of this precoated system is the 3M™ APC™ Flash-Free Adhesive Coated Appliance System, which includes a unique precoated adhesive designed to eliminate the need for orthodontists to clean up flash, or the excess adhesive typically left behind after the application of the braces to the teeth.
Dental adhesives allow dentists to create aesthetic, tooth-colored restorations by bonding composites and ceramics – instead of metals – to the tooth. 3M™ Scotchbond™ Universal Plus Adhesive offers gold standard adhesion and helps preserve the natural tooth. It’s also the world’s first radiopaque universal adhesive, helping to minimize the risk of x-ray misdiagnosis and invasive overtreatment.
Every day, 3M adhesives and tapes are hard at work in healthcare settings around the world, helping to ensure better outcomes are here to stay.
Want to learn more about 3M Health Care adhesives and tapes? Check out these stories.
*Do not use Tegaderm™ CHG I.V. Securement Dressings on premature infants or infants younger than two months of age. Use of these products on premature infants may result in hypersensitivity reactions or necrosis of the skin. The safety and effectiveness of Tegaderm™ CHG I.V. Securement Dressings has not been established in children under 18 years of age. For full prescribing information, see the Instructions for Use (IFU). Rx Only.
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