Fibers Used for Medical and Health Care Applications

Last Updated on 31/01/2021

Fibers Used for Medical and Health Care Applications

Authors: Taha Bin Yahya
Maaz Wasim Khan
Akram Ali
National Textile University, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Fibers for Medical and Health Care:
Medical textile products comprise textile materials used in hygiene, health and personal care as well as surgical applications. The Medtech products are available in all forms such as woven, knitted and non-woven based on the area of application. Medtech needs the basic textile properties like softness and lightness, flexibility, absorption, filtering, etc.

Textiles materials that are used in medical applications include fibers, yarns, fabrics and composites. Synthetic fiber is being used largely in manufacturing these products. Depending upon the application, the major requirements of medical textiles are absorbency, tenacity, flexibility, softness and at times bio-stability or bio-degradability.

fiber used in medical textiles
Fig: Fiber used in medical textiles

Fibers used in medical field may vary from natural fiber such as cotton, silk, regenerated wood fluff (absorbent layer), to, manmade fibers like polyester, polyamide, polyethylene, glass fiber etc.

The various applications of different fiber in medical field are shown as follows:

Sr No.FibreApplication in medical field
1CottonSurgical clothing gowns, Beddings, Sheets, Pillow cover, Uniforms, Surgical hosiery
2ViscoseCaps, Masks, Wipes
3PolyesterGowns, Masks, Surgical cover drapes, Blankets, Coverstock
4PolyamideSurgical hosiery
5PolypropyleneProtective clothing
6PolyethyleneSurgical covers, Drapes
7GlassCaps mask
8ElastomericSurgical hosiery

Current Issues of Medical and Health Care Textiles
A number of crucial issues regarding medical products in general and healthcare and hygiene products in particular have been identified and debated amongst clinicians, environmentalist, drug companies etc. for a long time. The issues such as:

1. Natural against chemical or manufactured fibers

2. Disposable against reusable or durable fabrics

3. Antibacterial or antimicrobial fibers against finishes or coatings for infection control

4. Methods of disposal of clinical waste i.e. landfills against incineration and other forms of medical and clinical waste disposal

There is general move towards an increased use of natural polymers that are biocompatible, biodegradable and nontoxic.

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