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Introduction To Medical Textiles

Dec. 29, 2022

Medical textile is the general name of a class of textile based on fiber and fabric, which is characterized by medical application. Literally, "medical textiles" are textiles used for medical purposes. Although the term was only coined in the late 20th century, textiles had long been used in medicine and were inseparable from human life. Most people think of "medical textiles" as hospital sheets, bandages or operating gowns. In fact, most of the products in medical textiles are not well known. Medical textiles are one of the most innovative textiles.

Classification of medical textiles

Classification according to morphology: divided into line, surface and body shape three

Linear suture line, binding line, fixed line and optical fiber device;

Facial with all kinds of nursing products, health care fabric, gauze, bandage and other medical supplies, artificial skin, organ repair materials and other artificial prostheses;

In body shape, there are artificial prostheses such as artificial bone, artificial blood vessel, artificial tendon and hollow fiber devices such as artificial kidney.

If the product is divided according to the application, it can be divided into the following categories

(1) General hospital supplies

Such as work clothes, hospital clothes, sheets, covers, mattresses, bedding, blankets, towels, masks, shoes and socks, pillowcases, curtains, tablecloth, wipe cloth, etc.

(2) External medical supplies

Such as medical tape, cotton swabs, cotton balls, gauze, bandages, band-aids, absorbent cotton, bandaging cloth, tape base cloth, wound dressing, plaster cloth, hemostatic fibers, etc.

(3) Medical protective equipment

Such as operating clothes, operating caps, masks, surgical gown, surgical instruments covering cloth, inspection personnel clothes and gloves, X-ray operation clothes and gloves, etc.

(4) Medical functional products

Such as surgical sutures, hemostatic fibers, artificial blood vessels, artificial skin, artificial hair, artificial breathing apparatus, artificial kidney, artificial lung, artificial liver, artificial bone and joint, artificial tendon, artificial heart valve and repair fabric, hernia repair fabric, plasma separator, fiber reinforced artificial bone plate, surgical reinforcement mesh and bonding materials, surgical plastic and repair materials, etc.

(5) sanitary products

Such as sanitary napkins, tampons, tampons, children's diapers, adult incontinence pads, medical paper products, antibacterial socks, antibacterial insoles, anti-odor socks, anti-odor insoles, etc.

(6) Health care products

Such as corrective belt, restraint belt, girth, corrective clothing, elastic shoulder, wrist, knee, waist, etc.

(7) Textiles for medical instruments and instruments

Such as glass fiber, metal fiber, ceramic fiber, carbon fiber and other reinforced composite materials and elastic fiber manufacturing processing of wheelchairs, crutches, stretchers, trucks and other medical equipment; Medical and health inspection facilities and instruments, such as stethoscopes, X-ray diagnostics, blood separators and bacteria separators, which are composed of optical fibers and medical filtration separation fibers.


About textiles for medical and health purposes

Medical and health textiles can be divided into medical and health products

(1) Medical textiles

Medical textiles are textile products based on fibers and fabrics, which are characterized by medical applications.

There are four main categories:

① implantable products; Such as sutures, artificial blood vessels and artificial joints;

② Non-implantable products; Such as bandages, gauze, etc.;

③ Functional products; Such as artificial kidney, artificial lung and other artificial organs;

(4) Health care products: such as surgical gowns, surgical masks, isolation gown, hospital supplies, gowns, protective coveralls.

Implantable and functional products are the market of medical textiles, which involves the high-tech fields of textile, biomedicine, chemistry, electronics and electrical engineering, etc. At present, it is still dominated by foreign brands, including Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Kimberly-Clark, Polymet Group and NIPRO Corporation of Japan. The country mainly produces non-implantable and health care products, so the discussion in this paper only covers these two categories of products. Requirements for medical textiles: must be non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic, free of chemical and synthetic fibres when sterilised, and degradable and functional fibres, etc.

(2) sanitary textiles

Most of the sanitary textiles belong to the cleaning, hygiene and personal care products used in People's Daily life, and some of them are used in hospitals. The main categories include wet wipes, cleaning and wiping, women's health, infant care and adult incontinence.

Requirements for sanitary textiles: They must be clean, hygienic, non-irritating and have mechanical and physical properties for specific purposes. Health textiles most commonly used fibers: natural fibers such as cotton, silk and viscose, polyester, polypropylene and other chemical and synthetic fibers.

(3) Textile materials for medical and health purposes

Medical and health textiles mainly use common textiles, nonwovens, knitwear, woven fabrics and composite materials. With the improvement of application requirements and technological progress, the application range of nonwovens in medical and sanitary products has been increasing rapidly in recent years, and there is a tendency to replace traditional textiles.

Nonwoven materials have the characteristics of soft, no dust and short velvet shedding, high filter to bacteria and dust, low surgical infection rate, convenient disinfection and sterilization, easy to compound with other materials and so on.

Studies at home and abroad have shown that the dust dust, shed short velvet and shielding of the fabric used in the operating room are a major factor of wound infection after surgery. Because the amount of dust suspended in the air in the operating room can be reduced by 43% and the number of bacterial penetration is 0 when nonwoven materials are used, the incidence of wound infection and sepsis can be reduced by 3 times. So the wide application of nonwoven medical materials has very high economic and social benefits.

Nonwovens used in medical and sanitary products mainly include those produced by chemical bonding, hot bonding (hot rolling and hot air), spines, air flow mesh, spunbond, SMS, laminated nonwovens and flash.

Evolution of application of nonwoven medical materials: chemical bonding -- thermal bonding (hot rolling and hot air) -- spunbond -- SMS -- flash -- electrostatic spinning. Spunlaced and SMS composite nonwovens are now used most.

Introduction to nonwoven materials for medical and health use

(1) Spunlaced nonwoven materials

Spunlaced nonwovens, also known as jet net nonwovens and hydraulic entanglement nonwovens, are one of the many nonwovens. It is a new nonwoven technology developed on the basis of jet finishing technology.

Spunlaced nonwovens technology is a new frontier science which combines the theory and basic knowledge of modern physics, chemistry and other disciplines and the achievements of CAD/CAM technology, information technology and new material technology. It is one of the fastest developing technology methods in the field of nonwovens.

Spunx nonwovens have unique advantages over other nonwovens in softness, breathability, sanitation, good adsorption, etc., so they are widely used in the fields of medical treatment, health, clothing, light industry, electronics, environmental protection and daily life. According to the data, at present, 60% of the non-woven materials in the world for medical and health use, 20% for household and all kinds of wipe cloth, 15% for synthetic leather base cloth, 5% for industrial and other purposes.

In the early stage, spunlaced technology was mainly used to produce disposable general medical and health materials. Now, it has gradually developed to be able to produce wood pulp composite, chitosan, bleached cotton and other functional materials and high-grade products.

(2) fused spinning nonwovens

Melt spinning is the general term of melt spun nonwovens, including spunbond, melt blown, SS, SMS composite nonwovens.

① Spunbond is the earliest used melt spinning nonwoven material. It is a nonwoven fabric technology developed on the basis of chemical fiber production technology. Spunbonded nonwovens for medical and health use are made from PP slices, which are extruded, filtered, measured, spinned, drawn, netted and hot-rolled into cloth. Fiber fineness is generally more than 1 denier, with high strength, good wear resistance and low production cost.

(2) Melt-blowing and spunbond process is similar, but the difference is that high pressure hot air and self-bonding are used to make cloth during drafting. The fiber fineness can be as fine as 1 micron, which is a kind of microfiber spinning technology. The product has good shielding, but low strength, poor wear resistance, generally not used alone.

(3) SMS is the general term of spunbonded and melt-blown composite nonwovens, including SS, SMS, SMMS and other products. S refers to the spunbonded cloth layer, M refers to the melt-blown cloth layer, which can be combined with multiple air jet layers to meet different requirements of water pressure resistance and shielding requirements. SMS material combines the advantages of spunbond and melt-blown cloth, overcomes each other's weaknesses, has the advantages of good shielding, light weight, high strength, waterproof and oil-proof, cheap, etc., the product can be widely used in medical, health, isolation and protection fields, is one of the fastest developing nonwoven technology.

At present, there are three series of SMS materials for medical and protective purposes: SMS, SMMS and SMMMS. The seepage pressure can reach more than 20-30 cmH2O, 40-50 cmH2O and 90 cmH2O, and the gram weight of the product can be as small as 12g/m2 to meet the needs of different applications.

(3) flash nonwoven materials

It's a new nonwovens technology invented in the 1990s.

The flash nonwovens technology is to dissolve the polymer in the appropriate solvent under high temperature and high pressure, and the solution is sprayed from the spinnetting nozzle during spinning. Due to the sudden reduction of pressure, the solvent volatilizes sharply, resulting in the highly fibrillated polymer and becomes microfiber, and then flash nonwovens are made through the direct mesh, hot rolling and bonding processes. Because of its special molding method, the fiber size in the fiber net is very fine, generally 0.1-0.3dtex, which is a kind of microfiber nonwoven fabric.

Flash method products with high strength, pressure resistance, wear resistance, good shielding, breathable moisture and other characteristics, in the medical, health, civil and industrial fields have a wide range of applications.


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