Dow Corning, a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, announced today that its TPSiV® 4000 and TPSiV® 4200 Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs) have been shown to be safe for skin contact applications in two independent medical test protocols.
The results offer strong independent validation that these industry-leading materials are an excellent option for skin-safe wearable electronics applications, such as wrist bands for smart watches and fitness trackers, as well as for device accessories such as earbuds.
In vivo testing, performed in accordance with the United States Pharmacopeia's (USP) General Chapter <88>, Biological Reactivity protocol, confirmed that TPSiV 4000 and TPSiV 4200 Elastomers both lack cytotoxic potential and show no potential for systemic toxicity and skin irritation. This indicates that both products are safe for long-term skin contact, which is an important criteria for materials targeting the fast-growing market for wearable electronics. The company is performing additional testing on these materials under ISO 10993-10-2010 protocols for skin sensitivity.
"As a collaborative innovator who works with leading wearable device manufacturers worldwide, Dow Corning recognized early how critically important it would be to ensure our TPSiV materials are safe for prolonged skin contact in these applications," said Gifford Shearer, market development leader, Consumer Electronics at Dow Corning. "The encouraging results of these tests validate our customers' confidence in the safety of these proven advanced materials, and enable them to leverage the many other high-value performance properties they offer."
A unique hybrid of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and crosslinked silicone rubber, TPSiV materials combine the durability, abrasion resistance and overmolding options of TPUs, with the softness and resistance to ultraviolet light and chemicals offered by silicone technology. TPSiV elastomers can be precisely color-matched to customer specifications and maintain their excellent, long-lasting aesthetics even for the most demanding wearable device applications. Wearable device manufactures can take advantage of TPSiV Elastomers' flexibility and silky soft feeling to increase comfort for consumers.
"For decades, Dow Corning has been a source of innovative, proven silicone-based solutions for both the advanced electronics and healthcare industries," said Geoff Gardner, global industry director for Electronics at Dow Corning. "We are using this hard won expertise to accelerate our customer's development cycle with a truly innovative material that they can trust will be safe for their customers"