For years, the medical testing industry has been using a swab device with glass ampoules containing reagents. After a sample had been collected, the medical technician broke the glass ampoule to release the reagent. There are many problems with this tech- nology, including the possibility of glass shards cutting the technician, clogging the dropper tube or entering the reagent and affecting the variability in the volume dispensed. Addressing these safety issues also became more important with the advent of AIDS.
Therefore, the company decided to produce a swab package that would make collection and transportation easier and safer. It invented Snap Swab, a Dacron swab tip on a polystyrene shaft encased in a polyethylene tube. Snapping the swab shaft releases the reagent, making the swab ready for use. However, to maintain the low cost and ensure dependability, the swab had to be reliably bonded to the in- side of the tube. The interface of the swab shaft, the protective tubing and the reagent bulb had to be leak-proof.
Loctite Corp.'s (Rocky Hill, CT) Light Cure 3311 was chosen to bond the swab into the tip of the Snap Swab. Light Cure 3311 is a one-component adhesive and has low viscosity. It cures rapidly to form flexible, transparent bonds when exposed to ultraviolet radiation or visible light sources.
This adhesive is now automati- cally dispensed from the current equipment on the assembly line. It has enabled the company to produce a product that is safe, convenient, dependable and inexpensive. According to Frederic Nason, president, "2 to 3 cents of 3311 is cheap. Even though an item is inexpensive, people still want it to work every time. The product made our Snap Swab dependable. All of this would not have been possible without it."
For more information on adhesives, call Loctite Corp. at 800-562-8483, visit www.loctite.com.