Characterizing acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes favoring diverse biomedical applications
Alhijji, Saleh Mohammed S.
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Strong, self-adhesive acrylic polymer-based tapes have been identified as FDA-approved medical device construction components that might also serve in diverse biological locations as artificial muscles, ligaments, or compressive support discs. After assuring that the tapes themselves were not cytotoxic, they were evaluated as possible low-tension muscle substitutes for eyelids, jaws, and other modest body re-closing needs, and well as for higher-tension applications as artificial ligaments. Self-adhesion of the tapes to representative biomaterials, before and after radio-frequency glow discharge treatment for surface energy modification, illustrated the conditions for maximum attachment strength to nonphysiologic substances. Attachment to bony host parts was challenging but apparently met by the application of acrylic-composite-to-dentin bonding systems that has shown good long-term experience in the mouth. Above all, the compression-relaxation properties of the tape materials were superior and their uses in potential Nucleus Pulposus applications for spinal disc repair were most completely explored. Tests included tape-disc performance longevity, both dry and wet, for over 5000 load-relaxation cycles, with no apparent changes in results for the most dense of the tapes evaluated. Direct abrasion was avoided by insertion of rigid polymeric layers. It is recommended that the compressive loading properties of acrylic tapes be further evaluated for spine repair applications.