Uses of Textiles in Modern Wound Care Products

Last Updated on 24/02/2021

Uses of Textiles in Modern Wound Care Products

Abdulwahid Dadhiwale
D.K.T.E society’s Textile and Engineering Institute of Technology


Medical textiles are one of the major growth areas within technical textile and the use textile materials for the medical, health and wound care products ranges from bandage materials to scaffolds tissue culturing and large variety of theses for permanent body implants. It will be stressed that one of the high tech of medical textile is the application of bandages for enhancing the quality of life. The use of the textile fibers in medical application is becoming very popular. There is no doubt that this diversification will lead to a resurgence of the textile industry.

An important growing field of the textile industry is the medical and related health care and hygiene sector. The application of textiles in the medical field specially in wound care is huge and diverse, ranging from single thread suture to the complex composite structure for bone replacement, and from the simple cleaning wipe to advanced barrier fabrics, used in operation theaters. Textiles materials and wound care products that are engineered to meet particular needs are suitable for medical applications, where a combination of strength, flexibility and sometimes moisture and air permeability are required.

Wound Care Products
Fig: Wound Care Products

Major fibers for medical textiles:


  1. Cotton
  2. Silk
  3. Regenerated cellulose


  1. Polyester
  2. Viscose
  3. Lyocell
  4. Polyamide
  5. Polyvinyl alcohol
  6. Polyurethane urea (PUUR)
  7. Polypropiolactone (PPL)
  8. Polycaprolactone (PCL)

Natural Polymer:

  1. Biological protein
    • Collagen
    • CatgutBrenan
    • Ferulate
  2. Chitin
  3. Alginate
  4. Polylactic acid (PLA)
  5. Chitosan
  6. Polyglycolic acid (PGA)

Desired Properties of Medical Textiles:

  1. Bio – degradable
  2. Purified and Hygienic
  3. Fast and highly absorbent
  4. Better Insulation
  5. Good thermal stability
  6. Non toxic
  7. Non allergic
  8. Able to be sterilized
  9. Antimicrobial

Bandages in Wound Care
Bandages are very common in wound dressings. There are different types of bandages depending on the type of wound. Designed to perform a whole variety of special functions depending upon the type of wound and medical requirement

  • Woven, non- woven or knitted
  • Elastic or non- elastic
  • Gauze – open weave absorbent fabric used for
  • Burns and scalds
  • Lint – for first aid and mild burn injuries
  • Wadding – covered with non woven and highly absorbent
Bandages in wound care
Fig: Bandages in wound care

Different type of bandages, their Fiber type and fabric structure:

BandageFiber typeFabric structure
CompressionCotton, polyamide, elastomeric yarnsKnitted, woven
OrthopedicCotton, viscose, polyester, PP, polyurethane foamNonwoven, woven
AdhesiveCotton, viscose, PP, glass, plastic filmKnitted, woven, Nonwoven
Light supportCotton, viscose, elastomeric yarnKnitted, woven, Nonwoven
RetentionPolyamide. Cotton, viscoseKnitted, woven, Nonwoven


A. Absorbable sutures

1. Surgical gut

  • Made from sub mucous layers of sheep
  • Time for complete absorption depend on the action of hardening agent

2. Fascia Lata

  • Muscle connective tissue of beef
  • Reconstructive orthopaedic surgery and repair of hernias
  • Becomes part of the tissue when the wound is healed

B. Non absorbable sutures

1. Silk

  • High tensile strength
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Less Tissue Reaction

2. Dacron

  • Greater tensile strength
  • Minimal tissue reaction
  • Maximal visibility
  • Non fraying qualities

3. Silver wire clips

  • Many styles of clips are available for the purpose of holding the edges of the tissue in approximation.
  • Used when the wound is infected
  • Tend to produce scar when used in skin

4. Cotton, Linen, Nylon, Silkworm Gut

5. Smart sutures

Use of Shape Memory Polymer:
Such type of suture is normal at room temperature. It is initially loosely stitched and when it comes in contact with the skin due to body temperature, the thread gets tightened. Therefore, the threads used for these sutures are called as Shape Memory Polymer.

Nano Fiber:
Application of nano fibers in modern wound care products is as follows:

  1. For drug and gene delivery
  2. Artificial blood vessels
  3. Artificial organs
  4. Medical face masks


Carbon fiber hollow nanotubes, smaller than blood vessels, have potential to carry drugs into blood cell

Capable of delivering medicines directly into internal tissues

Anti adhesion


1. Medical application

  • Researchers have spun a Fiber from a compound naturally present in the blood
  • Used as bandage or sutures that ultimately dissolves in the body
  • Minimizes infection rate, blood loss and also absorbed by the body

2. Wound healing

  • Native process of regenerating dermal and epidermal tissues
  • Electrospun nano fiber membrane
  • Highly porous membrane structure
  • High specific surface area
  • Drug delivery system

3. Treatment of malodorous wounds

Reasons of malodouring:

  • Poor hygiene and cleanliness
  • Chronic illness and wound (leg ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcer, etc.)
  • Dead tissues
  • Severe colonization or infection of bacterial micro organisms

The malodouring can be avoided by using different materials which can absorb the odor. These materials can be organic or inorganic.

a. Non organic absorptive material
The most common are non organic absorptive material Zeolites. Their uniform micro porous structure makes them ideal for separation and removal of volatile gases. But the main disadvantage of them is that we have to rely on other textile auxiliaries which are not allowed to be used in health care products.

b. Organic absorptive materials
Organic absorptive materials like, cellulose and natural biopolymer e.g. chitin, collagen, wool, polyacrylamide gels adsorb many times their own weight of water.

Activated carbon is one of the most common adsorptive materials used in ancient times. The main disadvantage of activated carbon is its black color. Cyclodextrins derived from polysaccharides are used as novel deodorizing finish with the capacity to absorb and controlled drug or fragrance release. Exuderm odour Shield, Duo Derm Extra Thin, Tega Sorb these are some of the trade names of the Cyclodextrin.

c. Natural odour adsorbents
Herbal extracts and balms for example: Tea Tree Oil, Neem Oil, Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey.

d. Plasters
There are two main different types of plasters which are as follows:-

  • Non extensible
  • Extensible

Non extensible
Zinc oxide self adhesive plaster made from cotton, rayon cloth of plain weave evenly spread with pressure sensitive adhesive mass. This is a kind of non extensible plaster.

Elastic plasters, assorted plasters and hydrocolloid are mechanical organs used for blood purification.

Textiles are gearing towards an integrated future in medical textiles. Nowadays textiles are used in more than hundreds of wound care products. Biomedical polymers are more and more developing into high-tech products with interesting changes in the market. Medical Textile Competence Centers are being established to make the most of knowledge, expertise and existing collaboration with medical researchers, microbiologists, physiologists and textile scientists.


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