Self-adhering (tacky) materials or pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) form an essential part of our everyday lives, with new applications of PSAs arising all the time across various industries. The vast majority of existing PSAs are hydrophobic rubber-like polymers, which means they don’t mix well with polar molecules. However, it is precisely that quality that would be of greatest practical use in contemporary industry and medicine.
This book describes innovative hydrophilic PSAs based on stoichiometric hydrogen bonded complexes of long-chain polymers (with repeating electron-donating functional groups) with complementary telechelic oligomers (with proton-donating terminal groups).
These types of adhesives can be easily produced by simple mixing of parent polymers and oligomers in solutions or in melts. Unlike conventional hydrophobic adhesives, these hydrophilic adhesives are miscible with a range of chemical substances that have hydrogen bonding or ionic functional groups in their molecules. This includes numerous drugs, polyelectrolytes, electroconducting or physiologically active compounds, proteins, etc.
The book shows the molecular design principles and distinctive characteristic features of various functional adhesive products based on innovative tacky polymer composites, such as:
- ‘smart’ thermo-switchable adhesives adhering towards the substrates of different polarity and hardness
- mussel-inspired adhesives functioning in aqueous media
- transdermal patches for enhanced drug delivery
- tooth whitening strips with tailored adhesion towards dental tissues
- the lack of adhesion to mucosal membranes in oral cavity
- many other advanced products for medical, cosmetic and industrial applications.
The number of functional polymers that can be used as parent components for producing novel adhesives is very large, suggesting that the polymer blending approach may revolutionise the adhesive industry in the coming decades.