Adhesive Systems seal and cover molecular devices.

Press Release Summary:

Low fluorescence adhesives provide sealing and cover constructions for microfluidic devices and bioarrays. Adhesives are dimensionally stable and will not flow into microfluidic channels. They will adhere to base plate without creating voids or gaps that may allow migration of components from one channel to adjacent channel, and they exhibit good stability to moisture and temperature change. Adhesives are chemically compatible with electrophoretic separation.

Original Press Release:

Adhesives Research, Inc. Offers Low Fluorescence Adhesive Systems for Molecular Technology Applications

GLEN ROCK, Pa. (June 28, 2002) - Adhesives Research, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance, pressure-sensitive adhesive-coated products, introduces low fluorescence adhesive systems for the molecular technology sector, including microfluidic devices, microarrays, bioassays and multi-well/microplate platforms that offer low auto-fluorescence to enhance signal detection. The evolution of low fluorescence adhesives has been helpful to manufacturers of microfluidic devices and bioarrays who use these adhesives as critical bonding tools, yet do not want any interference with the important process of fluorescence detection.

Fluorescence detection and measurement is critical when analyzing chemical and biological materials for molecular technology applications. Microfluidic devices such as "lab-on-a-chip" and labcard platforms are used for the rapid, sensitive analysis of biomolecules, as well as for drug discovery and DNA sequencing. Bioarrays rely on fluorescent measurements to monitor complementary binding of target and probe nucleotide sequences. Multi-well microplates are used for culturing cells or performing chemical and cellular analysis.

Typically, these devices require a cover to isolate the assay components from the environment to prevent contamination cross-talk between wells and loss of reagents. However, the device components and the chemical structure of the cover film may exhibit a significant effect on fluorescent measurements. If not specifically designed, the pressure-sensitive adhesive used to bond the cover film to the assay device may also affect the background fluorescence and consequently affect sensitivity.

It is vital to select device components based on biocompatibility, chemical inertness, and mechanical and material properties that are critical to assay performance. Adhesives Research has developed low auto-fluorescent sealing constructions and adhesives that, either alone or in conjunction with a low fluorescent assay platform or multi-well plate, can further reduce the possibility of undesirable background fluorescence at the same wavelength used to detect the biomaterial during the assay.

In addition to exhibiting low fluorescence, these adhesive sealing or cover constructions are dimensionally stable and will not flow into any microfluidic channels. They will adhere to the base plate without creating voids or gaps that may allow migration of the components from one channel to an adjacent channel, and they exhibit good stability to moisture and temperature change. These adhesive cover layers exhibit good compatibility and should not interfere with the chemical reagents used in the microchannels and reservoirs (electrophoretic media and biomaterials such as DNA fragments and polypeptides) and are compatible with the methods employed for separation (pH, electric field potentials and voltage gradients).

For the low auto-fluorescent adhesive constructions used in the assay platforms or multi-well plates, the adhesives can be either flexible or rigid, but should be clear and colorless. They are chemically compatible with electrophoretic separation, as well as dimensionally stable, and can dissipate heat during this process.

One example of an application using low fluorescent adhesives is an assay for kinase activity. Kinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of a phosphate group from nucleotides to a substrate. Since this is a critical biochemical process, many pharmaceutical companies are investigating kinase inhibitors that may be associated with various diseases. Typically, fluorescence measurements are used to monitor the reaction between inhibitor and substrate in a kinase assay. A lab-on-a-chip device for kinase assay has been constructed using pressure-sensitive adhesives and substrates with low auto-fluorescence. Low fluorescent adhesive constructions enable a high signal-to-noise ratio with good resolution of components.

These adhesive systems providing minimal fluorescence and good assay compatibility are available with pressure-sensitive or heat-sealable properties. Adhesives Research can also customize adhesive constructions for molecular technology applications to meet the user's defined design requirements for not only low fluorescence systems, but also hydrophilic adhesives, structural systems and adhesives that withstand rapid thermal cycling processes. Low fluorescent adhesives used as a cover to enclose and seal a microfluidic device can also incorporate hydrophilic properties to enhance the flow of liquid through the microfluidic passages and channels, thus reducing testing time and sample size. This dual functionality allows for design flexibility and manufacturing efficiencies.

Adhesives Research, a leader in the development of PSA-coated films and tapes for the diagnostics industry, specializes in problem solving and offering custom bonding solutions to customers. The Company's Arcare® flexible, conformable tapes are used for the bonding, laminating and assembly of test kits. The Company offers non-migratory, inert adhesive systems that are compatible with assay-type diagnostic tests.

Adhesives Research's pressure-sensitive tape products are designed to meet the needs of the healthcare industry in such markets as in-vitro diagnostics, wound care, electrodes and medical devices. The adhesive systems for wound care are non-sensitizing, non-migratory and low in residual solvents. The Company also offers tapes for proper attachment of electrodes to skin to accommodate accurate body function monitoring and testing and medical procedures requiring electrical conductivity.

Adhesives Research's PSAs are used around the world in medical diagnostics and devices, pharmaceuticals/transdermals, consumer products and other diverse markets such as the electronics, automotive, aerospace, display, appliance and pulp and paper industries. Founded in 1961, Adhesives Research offers problem-solving capabilities and custom solutions in adhesive polymerization, mixing, adhesive coating and release liner design supported by extensive product development and analytical support. The Company has been ISO 9001 registered since 1992 and was recently certified to the updated ISO 9001:2000 standard.

Based in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, Adhesives Research, Inc. also operates manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Australia and Colombia and has sales offices in Great Britain, Germany, Singapore and Korea.

For more information on the Medical Business Unit and its products, contact Marge Morgan of Adhesives Research, Inc. at 1-800-445-6240, ext. 3331 (1-717-235-7979 outside North America) or visit the Adhesives Research web site at

Adhesives Research® is a registered trademark of Adhesives Research, Inc. for engineering and design services in the field of pressure-sensitive adhesive systems.

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