Leverkusen, Germany – Wearable electronic patches are finding increasing use in many areas of medicine, with demand growing in line with increasing digitalisation of the healthcare sector.
The design of these patches allows a variety of applications in monitoring vital parameters and offer patients more freedom of movement, notes Covestro.
As these wearables must be worn on the skin around the clock for a prolonged period of time, they must be kind to the skin, according to a company release.
The patches, it added, need to be comfortable, but also adhere to the skin. In addition, they should be removed as painlessly as possible.
For these applications, Covestro has developed special breathable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films from its Platilon range. These, it claims, are “perfectly suited and designed” for customers.
The films are produced using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process that allows wearables to be efficiently produced, explains Covestro.
Electronics can be printed on the film and embedded in a thermoformable polyurethane foam covered with a second film layer for better wearing comfort.
The patch is then fixed with a special skin-compatible adhesive, which adheres firmly to the skin but allows painless removal of the patch.
A prototype was produced in collaboration with the Holst Centre, a specialist in printed electronics and wearables. The materials being used are already ready for the market.
In addition to the wearable patch, Covestro will present a design study at K2019 to present different wearable designs depending on their medical use.