Medical Textiles

Topics: Cellulose, Silk, Textile Pages: 6 (759 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Medical Textiles
Dr Muhammad Mushtaq Mangat

Medical textiles

  An important and growing part of the textile

industry is the medical and related healthcare and hygiene sector.

  The extent of the growth is due to constant

improvements and innovations in both textile technology and medical procedures [1].

Medical Textiles Applications

  Starting from a single thread suture to the

complex composite structures for bone replacement

  And from the simple cleaning wipe to

advanced barrier fabrics used in operating rooms. [1]

MT types

  Nonimplantable materials – wound dressings,

bandages, plasters, etc. liver, and lung

  Extracorporeal devices – artificial kidney,
  Implantable materials – sutures, vascular

grafts, artificial ligaments, artificial joints, etc. clothing, surgical gowns, cloths, wipes, etc. [1]

  Healthcare/hygiene products – bedding,

Fiber used in MT

  Regenerated cellulosic fibers
  Synthetic fibers; polyester, polyamide,

polytetrafluoroethylene, (PTFE), polypropylene, carbon, glass, and many more

MT and degradation

  Fibers used for inside of the body should be

biodegradable within 2–3 months after implantation.

  Cotton, viscose rayon, polyamide,

  These include:

polyurethane, collagen, and alginate.

  Some fibers takes more than 6 months to

degrade are:

  polyester, polypropylene, PTFE and carbon.[1]

Specialty fibers

Natural polymers such as collagen, alginate, chitin, chitosan, are used for modern wound dressings Collagen, is obtained from bovine skin and used as sutures, are as strong as silk and are biodegradable. The transparent hydrogel that is formed when collagen is cross-linked in 5–10% aqueous solution, has a high oxygen permeability and can be processed into soft contact lenses. Calcium alginate fibers are produced from seaweed of the type Laminariae possess healing properties, effective in the treatment of a wide variety of wounds, and dressings [1]


A polysaccharide that is obtained from crab and shrimp shells, has excellent antithrombogenic characteristics, and can be absorbed by the body and promote healing. Chitin nonwoven fabrics used as artificial skin adhere to the body stimulating new skin formation which accelerates the healing rate and reduces pain. Treatment of chitin with alkali yields chitosan that can be spun into filaments of similar strength to viscose rayon. Chitosan is now being developed for slow drug-release membranes. [1]

Non-implantable materials

  Used for external applications on the body

and may or may not make contact with skin


Wound care

The functions of these materials are to provide protection against infection, absorb blood and exudate, promote healing and, in some instances, apply medication to the wound. Common wound dressings are composite materials consisting of an absorbent layer held between a wound contact layer and a flexible base material.[1]


Bandages are designed to perform a whole variety of specific functions depending upon the final medical requirement. They can be woven, knitted, or nonwoven and are either elastic or non-elastic. The most common application for bandages is to hold dressings in place over wounds. Such bandages include lightweight knitted or simple open weave fabrics made from cotton or viscose that are cut into strips then scoured, bleached, and sterilized.

Extracorporeal devices

  Extracorporeal devices are mechanical organs

that are used for blood purification and include the artificial kidney (dialyser), the artificial liver, and the mechanical lung. benefit from fiber and textile technology.

  The function and performance of these devices
  The function of the artificial kidney is achieved

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