Adhesives Research Offers Technologies for Advancing In Vitro Diagnostic Test Capabilities


GLEN ROCK, PA (July 2011) – Adhesives Research (AR), a leading developer and manufacturer of custom pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes (PSAs), specialty coatings, films and laminates will feature enabling adhesives and coating technologies for a wide range of diagnostic testing applications at booth 2760 during the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Clinical Lab Expo July 26-28, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

Among the technologies showcased: 

  • ARseal™ PSA sealing technology for IVD and molecular diagnostic applications
  • Dissolvable films for lateral flow, microfluidic and microplate devices
  • Porous adhesives to rapidly transmit fluids while bonding

Pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) have been used for decades in a wide range of diagnostic device applications. AR works closely with IVD manufacturers to address the industry’s growing pressures to launch fast-performing, highly-sensitive and accurate, yet more affordable products through the development of enabling adhesive and coating technologies. PSAs are an obvious material choice for device manufacturers because they are integral to device performance and their continuous roll format facilitates efficient manufacturing for batch and in-line processing operations.  They provide an immediate bond without the need for water, solvents, or heat that could potentially damage a device’s sensitive enzymes and reagents.

Features of key adhesive and coating technologies: 

ARseal™ PSA Sealing Technology for IVDs and Molecular Diagnostic Applications – Coated with an inert silicone adhesive, ARseal PSA clear polypropylene film tapes are used for bonding, laminating and assembling membrane-based in-vitro diagnostic test products and microplate sealing applications for RT-PCR and other short-term storage.

Available in single-faced (ARseal™ 90697) and double-face (ARseal 90880) constructions, these low moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) PSA tapes provide an immediate bond to most materials, including low surface energy substrates, to provide a barrier for preventing evaporation and cross contamination.

Other key features of these products:

  • Resistance to dilute solutions of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), acids, alcohols and organic solvents
  • Low outgassing
  • Low auto-florescence
  • Wide operating temperature range from -40°C to 120°C
  • Withstands rapid thermal cycling

Dissolvable Films for IVDs – The intrinsic benefit of dissolvable film technology to the device manufacturer is the ability to completely customize the polymeric base to develop a system uniquely configured for each application. Dissolvable films are ideal for devices such as lateral flow, microfluidics and microplates. Characteristics such as thickness, dissolution rate, surface characteristics (texture) and mechanical properties (film strength) are all tailorable, making the technology well-suited to meet various design challenges of today’s IVD devices.  Dissolvable films are produced in a continuous roll format that enables homogenous loading of the reagent within the film, resulting in a dry, stable format, which means less waste and increased efficiencies throughout the process.

Other formulation benefits of the dissolvable film technology platform include:

  • Dissolution rates may be tailored to allow for the controlled release (from seconds to minutes) of reagents.
  • Homogenous distribution of reagents within the film delivers precise dosing which results in increased consistency and more accurate test results.
  • Dissolvable films may also be used to create isolation barriers to separate components or reagents within a device.

Porous Adhesive Technology – Adhesives Research’s porous adhesive technology increases device functionality by rapidly transmitting fluids or gasses while bonding filters and membranes within in vitro diagnostic applications where conventional PSAs previously have not been used. This porous technology offers a stable pore structure of isolated channels in the Z-axis to guide aqueous fluids evenly from one layer to the next to prevent spread that can affect test accuracy. The adhesive’s pores are uniformly distributed, open cells that create a low-density, highly permeable structure.  The pores range in diameter from 200 to 500 microns and present 30%-50% porosity with a finished film thickness of 2-8 mils.  AR’s porous PSA technologies are available in rolled transfer film or coated film formats on a wide range of substrates; and the physical properties of the adhesive can be completely customized to each unique application.

As device developers continue to evaluate methods for increasing assay sensitivity while reducing device complexity, reaction times and overall costs, AR’s porous adhesive technology has potential to be used in:

  • Bonding filters and advanced separation materials for cost-effective sample preparation methods.
  • Coupling multiple layers of membranes or filters in lateral- and vertical-flow devices to increase reaction speed and accuracy.
  • Enabling the design of hybrid systems that combine the ease-of-use of lateral flow devices with the speed and sensitivity of vertical-flow devices.
  • Facilitating uniform gas exchange through porous seals in microplate applications.
  • Ventilating seals in microfluidic devices that release vapors or gasses while prohibiting fluid flow.

Founded in 1961, Adhesives Research offers problem-solving capabilities and custom solutions in adhesive polymerization, mixing, adhesive coating and release liner design supported by extensive product development and analytical support.  The company’s North American and Limerick, Ireland, facilities are certified to the updated ISO 9001:2000 standard.   AR recently received ISO 13485 certification for the company’s North American manufacturing facility in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, to support the growing needs of the company’s medical device and pharmaceutical customers.

Adhesives Research’s pressure-sensitive adhesives and adhesive tape technologies are used around the world in electronics, displays, wireless telecommunications, window fabrication, and the pulp and paper industry, as well as in medical diagnostics and devices, wound care and pharmaceuticals/transdermals. Based in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, Adhesives Research also operates manufacturing facilities in Ireland and Colombia has sales and marketing offices in Great Britain and Singapore a representative office in Shanghai, China, and sales representation in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.