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A sticky but helpful situation for fragile medical devices

Daphne Allen

January 20, 2017

2 Min Read
A sticky but helpful situation for fragile medical devices
Components being loaded on Gel-Pak via pick & place equipment

One stop on our Packaging Innovation Tour at MD&M Minneapolis 2016 was Gel-Pak, a company offering a biocompatible gel that can be coated onto the bottom of boxes, trays, slides, and films to secure medical components in place during transport, processing, and storage. 

The “gel” is a proprietary highly crosslinked elastomer that has strong cohesive strength, so it does not generate particles unless damaged by the user (with sharp tweezers, etc.), reports Jennifer Dossee Nunes, Director of Marketing. “When devices are placed on the gel, they are held securely in place until they are removed using tweezers or automated pick and place equipment,” she says.

When asked about weight limits and applicable materials of the products that can be held, Nunes says that “there is no simple answer. Our Gel works with most materials, and the weight limit is a function of the type of Gel-Pak carrier used, the Gel retention level, and the how it is used.  Once we understand the customer’s application, we provide the best samples for them to evaluate.”

And when asked whether the gel could be placed in a thermoformed tray to hold a medical device, Nunes says it is possible. “The easiest way is to laminate a sheet of WF-A film into the carrier,” she says. 

She also believes that the gel could be sterilized as part of a package that undergoes terminal sterilization, but she advises that samples should be tested and validated.

Gel-Pak makes two grades of gel material; a standard grade and a highly purified version (Process B) recommended for highly sensitive devices. The Vacuum Release (VR) product line is built using Process B Gel, and Process B is also available as a special option for the Gel-Box, Gel-Tray, Gel-Slide, and Gel-Film products.

Gel-Pak’s products have been used to hold items such as medical coils, platinum marker bands, medical staples, medical electronics, etc., she says. 

Gel-pak-AD-with-Medical-Staples-copy_0.jpg

Above: Gel-Pak holding medical staples

For more details, visit http://www.gelpak.com/--gel-technology.

Gel-Pak's parent company Delphon will be exhibiting at Booth #1528 at the upcoming MD&M West in Anaheim February 7-9.

Click here for a list of the Innovation Tours at the show.

About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 25 years.  Follow her on Twitter at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

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