The Glue Talk Blog

Hospital room with dialysis patient.

Adhesives and Kidney Disease: H.B. Fuller Is Fighting Back

Posted 08 Feb 2019 by Heather Walch, Global Director, Engineering Adhesives

According to renal experts, kidney disease affects more than 850 million people worldwide. To put that number into perspective, that’s twice the number of diabetics (422 million) and more than 20 times the number of people with cancer (42 million) or HIV/AIDS (36.7 million).

Furthermore, as many as 10.5 million people need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

With that in mind, it’s little wonder why organizations like H.B. Fuller are passionate about perfecting adhesives that can save lives.

Addressing a Worldwide Epidemic

The kidneys remove waste products from the body and help balance the volume of fluids and minerals. When they are not functioning properly, toxins can build up in the blood stream, causing severe problems, even death, within just a few short weeks. The remedy for renal failure is dialysis, a process of purifying the body’s blood supply as a replacement for the filtering function of the kidneys.

At H.B. Fuller, we produce the adhesives used in the filter as part of dialysis treatment in an effort to address the worldwide epidemic that is kidney disease.

The Science of Saving Lives

In hemodialysis (kidney dialysis), blood is removed from the body and filtered through a man-made membrane called a dialyzer, or artificial kidney. The filtered blood is then returned to the body via perfusion (the delivery of blood, typically after something has been removed or nutrients have been added to it).

H.B. Fuller materials are used for potting both ends of the hollow fibers of the filter so that the filter can work properly. Specifically, our clear, colorless, two-component urethane medical potting adhesives are used in hemodialysis filters and heat exchangers on perfusion machines.

The heat exchangers for perfusion heat the blood before it is reintroduced to the body, and the adhesive then seals the heating material from the blood, thereby isolating the blood from the waste materials. In both cases, the adhesive is used on the ends (top and bottom) of the filter.

Advancing Medical Innovation

The use of adhesives in medical device components is critical to the success of medical innovation. At H.B. Fuller, we’re proud to manufacture the adhesives that play a vital role in the improvement of medical devices and procedures worldwide.

Discover more about how our scientific exploration is advancing medical innovation with our full line of medical adhesives, then contact us today.

Blog Categories