Covestro: The next generation of electronic patches
According to Covestro, wearable electronic patches (wearables) are already being used in many areas of medicine, including patient monitoring and diagnosis. Market demand is rising rapidly, in line with a growing digitalization of the healthcare sector. The design of these patches allows a variety of applications in monitoring vital parameters. They offer patients more freedom of movement. The wearables must be worn on the skin around the clock for a prolonged period of time so they need to be particularly kind to the skin, comfortable, but also adhere to the skin. In addition, they should be removed as painlessly as possible.
Covestro offers material solutions for improved design compared to marketable products. The range is a response to the growing customer demand for materials with increased wearing comfort. The company said it offers the right combination of materials for lightweight, flexible and hardly visible patches that provide a comfortable feel. There is no comparable offer on the market so far, said the manufacturer.
For this purpose, Covestro has developed special breathable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films from the Platilon range. The materials are said to be perfectly suited and designed for customers using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process that allows wearables to be efficiently produced. The electronics can be printed on the film and embedded in 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. The adhesive system and the thermoformable foam are based on Baymedix polyurethane raw materials. Covestro thus offers a complete solution for modern and high-quality wearable patches.
A prototype was produced in collaboration with the Holst Centre, which is known for its expertise 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 K 2019 to present different wearable designs depending on their medical use.