Adhesive Applications

Silicone Adhesive Tape for Medical and Microfluidic Applications

When developing medical devices, dressing, and microfluidic products it is important to consider the material you are using in order to ensure your product is safe, reliable, and effective. A popular material used in medical and microfluidic applications is silicone adhesive tape. It is inert, stable, and biocompatible, making it suitable for medical and life science applications. Silicone adhesive tapes have a host of other applications in medical, aerospace, and industrial markets.

What Is Silicone Adhesive Tape? 

Silicone adhesive tape is a type of pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape used in a variety of industries, not just medical or life science applications. Silicone adhesive tapes are formulated with silicone polymers.

Silicone adhesives are known for having a low initial tack – that’s the feeling of stickiness when you first touch the adhesive. It can feel like there is barely any stickiness at all, but silicone bonds well to metals, silicone foam, most plastics, and low-energy surfaces, such as polyethylene and polypropylene. In fact, they bond better to silicone and other low surface energy (LSE) materials, such as PDMS, than other adhesive systems.

Silicone Tape Constructions

Silicone tape can be created in a variety of constructions:

Single-sided tapes – These have adhesive coated on one side of the carrier or substrate and are useful as cover sheets, top layers, protective media, as well as a myriad of other applications.

Double-sided tapescarrier supported products, either silicone adhesive on both sides or silicone on one side and acrylic on the other. Two-side silicone tapes are used to bond silicone/LSE other silicone/LSE materials, while silicone one side acrylic the other can be used to bond silicone materials to a higher energy surface such as PMMA, steel, polycarbonate, etc.

Transfer films – Unsupported silicone transfer tapes can be applied to a variety of substrates to effectively act as a bonding and sealing media. Since they don’t have any carrier layer and act as ‘glue in a roll,’ these are the most conformable type of tape, and allow for flex and stretch around contoured surfaces.

Silicone Adhesive Tape Features

The tape is well known for its excellent performance due to a variety of features:

●  Repositionable/removable – the adhesives can be specially formulated to be initially repositioned, or ultimately removed cleanly if required.

●  Chemical resistance – silicone adhesives are an excellent choice if the applications require resistance to chemical or solvent splashes or immersion.

●  Temperature resistance – of all adhesives, silicone has the greatest ability to perform in temperature extremes, ranging from -100F to 500F.

●  Electrical insulation properties – silicone is a naturally insulative (dielectric) material and therefore tapes made from it are good insulators and RFI shielders.

●  UV resistance – silicone adhesives are less prone to UV degradation than other adhesive systems.

●  Moisture resistance – silicone adhesive holds up well to water and other liquids and maintains a bond.

●  Conformability – silicone adhesive tape can drape and conform easily to accommodate complex contouring.

When it comes to medical applications. such as wound care treatments or drug delivery systems, inertness and biocompatibility are two very important factors that need to be considered when choosing a material. Fortunately, silicone adhesive tapes are both inert and biocompatible due to their non-toxic nature. This means they can be safely used in microfluidics and around living tissue without causing irritation or inflammation. Additionally, silicone adhesive tapes do not react with any bodily fluids like blood or saliva which make them ideal for use in healthcare settings where contact with body fluids may occur.

Microfluidic Applications

Silicone adhesive tapes can also be used for microfluidic applications such as lab-on-a-chip devices due to their excellent stability, moisture resistance properties, adherence to LSE surfaces, and conformability. These properties make them perfect for sealing and bonding delicate components. Furthermore, the chemical stability of these tapes makes them a great choice for research laboratories as they will not react with any chemicals or solvents they come into contact with while being handled or stored. 

It’s clear that silicone adhesive tapes have many attributes that make them ideal for use in medical and microfluidic applications. Not only are they inert and biocompatible, but they also have excellent conformability and moisture resistance properties. which makes them perfect for sealing delicate components together while preventing any liquid leakage during operation. Additionally, their chemical stability ensures that these tapes will not react with any chemicals or solvents they come into contact with during handling or storage making them an ideal choice for research laboratories too. With all these benefits combined, it’s no wonder silicone adhesive tapes are so popular in medical and life science applications. Selecting the correct material combination to provide ideal bonding or sealing can be a complicated task and requires expert knowledge of the materials involved. If you’re looking for a reliable partner for your next microfluidic or other sensitive bonding or sealing project, reach out to Adhesive Applications at or call (413) 527-7120.