Silicone polymers form the backbone of most dimethyl-siloxanes (commonly known as silicone), which are used in a variety of applications such as sealants, adhesives, coatings, plastics, cosmetics, medical devices, hygiene products, food contact materials, and many other industrial applications. Due to their chemical inertness, high heat / cold and water resistance, good stability under UV light and other key properties, silicone polymers have been a critical component in several applications benefiting society at large.
The most common forms are silicone oil, grease, rubber, resin, and sealants
The optically clear, inert, non-toxic and flame retardant “polydimethylsiloxane” is the most used.
It is a highly versatile material
which is utilised in various applications such as over-the counter pharmaceutical products (acting as an anti-flatulent agent), 3D printing (allowing the image to pass through undistorted) and cleaning of contact lenses (effective in removing nano plastics).
Beyond this, because of its biocompatibility, it is widely used in healthcare.
For example catheters, respiration masks, stents, wound care and medical devices like pacemakers. A further example is the manufacture of microfluidic chips which are important for the development of systems such as drug delivery, clinical diagnostics and DNA sequencing
(Shakeri A., Khan S., Didar T.F. Conventional and emerging strategies for the fabrication and functionalization of PDMS-based microfluidic devices. Lab Chip. 2021)