The Technical Center

The
Industry Resource for Specialty Textiles and Product Information
   March 29, 2017  Facebook Twitter
MEDICAL

Textile Trends

Barbed Suture: Advantages

  • Knot Elimination - Barbed sutures self-anchor.  This will allow for reduced surgical training in knot tying, and improved efficiency through faster placement.
  • Improved Healing - The lack of constrictive suture loops enhances healing through increased blood flow, reduced scarring, and elimination of suture marks on the skin.

Wound Care:

Antimicrobial treated fabrics provide useful and protective therapeudic materials for acute and chronic wound care.  Combining antimicrobial and fabric technologies that are safe and effective for the broad spectrum of organisms and diverse wound conditions clearly provides benefits for protecting wound sites and enhances the healing process.  Silk is an ideal fabric for this purpose, because it is not erritating, and it is similar in characteristics to the outer layer of the skin (epidermis).

  • Leaching anti-microbials -
  • Non-leaching antimicrobials -

Development of Prosthetic Vascular Grafts :

  • Developments occurred in the late sixties/early seventies, with the general acceptance of warp knitted grafts, which allow for less porosity and greater strength.  Dacron® polyester has led the way in developing thinner and lighter weight materials for this application.
  • During the 1970s, the polyester textile structures were challenged by PTFE membranes commercialized by w.L. Gore.
  • The biggest development of the 1980s was the introduction of knitted grafts, impregnated with chemically fixed proteins, such as human albumin.
  • The functional life expectancey of polyester vascular grafts is in excess of 20 years.  Major developments continue in this area, and the future for textile applications for next generation endovascular devices look very bright.

Smart Bandages for Orthopedic Support :

Frequently used materials for bandages include.  Textile products are used in various forms in all areas of muscle/skeletal repairs.  Textile substrates offer the versatility and flexibility required to achieve the desired rigidity and immobilization for specific applications.  The use of products, such as semi-rigid casts and soft goods have already made it possible for athletes with minor injuries or in the rehabilitation stage to get back to the field sooner than ever before.  And, with so many extreme sports gaining popularity, this application for medical textiles is a growing business.

  • Knitted or woven elastic textiles
  • Three-dimensional spacer fabrics
  • Neoprene foams
  • Foams with open pores
  • Rigid structures (plastic or steel)
  • Use of phase change materials (PCMs) to increase or decrease temperature at the affected site.  PCMs will actively absorb and release heat as needed to keep the wearer comfortable.
  • Compression Hosiery - The socks compress muscles in the legs and feet to keep the blood flowing properly, and prevent blod-clots in post surgical patients.

Controlling Micro-organisms in Hospital Textiles :

Recently, it has been documented that hospital-acquired infections have contributed to 8 million excess hospital days and 88,000 deaths, one every 6 minutes. 

  • As a result, the future use of antimicrobial agents will be very important in hospital applications in order to control infections. 
  • Although there is no single approach to antimicrobial fabrics that satisfy all of the needs of modern hospitals, each of the approaches has its own niche where it will perform well.  The methods for incorporating the animicrobial agens into the fabrics include:
    • Padding (topical application) - This is the most common approach, which involves the immersion of the fabric into a solution containing the desired antimicrobial agent.
    • Dyeing the fabrics in antimicrial dye baths to incorporate the antimicrobials into the fiber structure.
    • Ion-exchange - In this process, the antimicrial agent can be charged with an opposite charge so that, upon immersion in the antimicrobial, the charged sites in the fiber become neutralized by the antimicrobial.  This approach can greatly increase the concentration of the available antimicrobial agent, and reduce its loss during laundering.
    • Embedding or Coating with Silver - In this process, the silver is deposited or coated onto the fiber.  However, due to the high concentration of silver, these fabrics may be too expensive for general applications.
    • Incorporating the antimicrobial agent into the polymer -  In this process the agent is added to the polymer liquid during the fiber production process, and before it is spun into a yarn.

Use of Technical Fabric Developments to Prevent
Bed Sores in Hospital and Nursing Homes:

(You may not know that an infection caused by bed sores was the reason for Christopher Reeve's death.)

  • Use of  Dri-release in sheets and mattress covers.
  • Use of Friction Free patented technology in sheets and mattress covers.

Use of Technical Fabric Developments for Socks and
Gloves for Diabetic Patients to Improve Circulation:

  • Holofiber
  • Friction Free System Technology

Return to Future of Fabrics Textile Trends

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