The Interplay of Viscoelasticity, Water Transport, and Adhesion in Skin Adhesives under Wet Conditions

Johannes Eiler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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Abstract

Worldwide, there are millions of people living with an ostomy, which is typically created during a life-saving surgical procedure. Thereafter, ostomates use a removable pouch to collect and dispose of urine and faeces from their abdomen. An integral part of the pouch system is the adhesive, which holds the pouch in place during wear. Importantly, the adhesive should be strong enough to avoid undesired detachment while also being easy to remove upon changing of the pouch. Finding the right balance of adhesion is especially challenging during wet conditions, where moisture from the skin or from the ostomy may interfere with the adhesive bonds. To allow an active lifestyle for ostomates without worrying about the adhesion of the pouch, this project aims to understand the processes leading to a loss of adhesion and subsequently identify strategies to maintain adhesion instead. First, the mechanism for water transport within skin adhesives is investigated through a microstructural analysis of these polymer composites. Different approaches are then evaluated to tune the water transport within skin adhesives from changes in their effect on the viscoelastic properties is determined. Next, skin adhesives are systematically designed to decouple the effects of changes in their water absorption capabilities and in their viscoelastic properties during perspiration. For this purpose, a perspiration simulator is developed, which mimics human skin in some key characteristics, to achieve controlled and reproducible perspiration conditions. Finally, the learnings about the interplay of the viscoelastic properties, the water absorption capabilities, and the peel adhesion are used to develop new skin adhesive formulations with an improved performance during perspiration.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages197
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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