November 17, 2017 | Jeff Trail

Related Articles


Explore materials, technologies, design, and manufacturing in the life sciences.



Biomedical Applications for Foil in Medical Devices & Wearables


Foil can be used to hold, protect, decorate, or dispense a wide range of materials and applications. Its unique properties facilitate its use for storage, distribution, and marketing of many consumer and industrial products. Foils are commonly used as an impermeable barrier layer between two environments and are available in thickness ranging from 6 to 200 microns. From applications in the medical industry, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, wearables, and electronics, foil provides a wide range of uses.


Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry

Foils are widely used in the packaging of many items in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Aluminum foil has inherent barrier properties which can exclude moisture, microorganisms, light, oxygen, and other gases. It outperforms most of its competition, making it the primary material in the packaging of pharmaceuticals, and can be sterilized as well as secured.

Pouches in various customized sizes and types can safely secure Medical devices, Cardiac devices, Catheters & Tubing, Diagnostic devices, Endoscopic devices, and Orthopedic devices. Foils are extremely versatile and can be printed, coated, laminated, slit, or embossed with flexibility and ease. the following is a list of products that commonly use foil in their packaging:

  • Tablets
  • Push-through blister
  • Cold-formed foil blister
  • Strip pack
  • Needle wrapping
  • Syringe Vials
  • Creams
  • Instruments
  • Dressings 



Foil provides a great conductive layer in the world of electronics. Its thermal properties can effectively conduct heat, and work as a cooling module for many different types of electronics:

  • Electrodes for power capacitors in electrical utility systems
  • Consumer electronics
  • Microwave ovens
  • Circuit Boards
  • Automotive electronic components
  • Conductor for touch sensors
  • Display panels
  • Medical test strips

Flexible and printed electronics is a rapidly growing market, and manufacturers see more opportunities ahead in current and new applications.



Life Sciences

Technology advancements are aiding in the design and development of heating solutions using foil. These new products can be engineered to perform a wide range of functions based on the size of product and degree of temperature needed. Some areas of application include:

  • Sterilization equipment
  • Operation equipment
  • Packaging equipment
  • Analyzing equipment



From activity trackers to fancy smartwatches, shoes to 3D projector glasses, wearables are becoming increasingly popular. Using extremely thin layers of foil, many wearables are constructed from this substrate as they're extremely flexible in nature. Foils can also be printed on clothing, quilts, or other materials to give it some eye-catching flair. New types of activity monitoring products include clothing that can track electrical activity in your muscles in real time, in addition to speed, distance, and heart rate data. 



Foils have widely been used in electronics and the packaging of medical and pharmaceutical products. Increasingly, foils are being included in wearable technologies. As technologies advance, expect to see them become ubiquitous in a vast array of products.


Explore materials, technologies, design, and manufacturing in the life sciences.


Articles & Resources

Our articles and resources explore materials, technologies, design, and manufacturing in the life sciences. Together we're advancing biomedical innovation through curiosity and shared knowledge. 


Video Series

Boyd Biomedical Design Stories explores what it takes to commercialize biomedical innovations in a modern susteainable way. A way that's the best way - for patients, practitioners, and all of us - as we seek to advance healthcare together. 


Documentary Film

Project Frontline is a feature length documentary film which tells the inspiring story of collaboration during crisis and is a cautionary tale about our leadership in innovation, advanced manufacturing, and supply chain resilience.