• Alginates

    As the pioneers of Alginate fibre manufacture for medical applications, SFM’s process is based on a best-in-class approach to provide strong, absorbent fibres.

Alginates

As the pioneers of Alginate fibre manufacture for medical applications, SFM’s process is based on a best-in-class approach to provide strong, absorbent fibres.

SFM has been a major supplier of alginates to the wound care industry for over 30 years. SFM are able to offer a range of non-woven fabrics including, composite products, constructed using alginate fibres which are manufactured from sodium alginate extracted from seaweed.

Alginate polymers are comprised of a mixture of two monomeric units; mannuronic acid (M) and guluronic acid (G), each of which have different properties. These different polymer types are determined by the selection of specific seaweed species in addition to the control of molecular weight during the extraction phase.

Unlike many other calcium alginate dressings, SFM’s dressings are comprised of high M fibres meaning that gelling rates are faster as calcium ions are more readily released. Furthermore, to enable softer, more conformable and stronger materials, SFM avoid the use of harsh, inorganic solvents such as acetone as this causes embrittlement due to rapid expulsion of water from the fibres. SFM use a proprietary technique to gently dry fibres after their wet extrusion that greatly reduces the risk of the presence of residues.

With regards to its antibacterial counterpart, Silver is widely used in medical applications for its antibacterial properties. This antibacterial action is directly derived from the ionized form of silver, (Ag+). The bonding properties of this ion allows effective inhibition of bacteria. Ag+ preferentially forms covalent bonds with molecules containing sulphur, nitrogen, and oxygen thus rendering them unusable by the bacteria.

It is also known that alginate dressings with a high mannuronic acid content provide a soft and conformable wound covering which when in contact with exudate, forms a gel which creates a moist wound healing environment.

References

1. Clarke, M. (2012). Wounds International: Media: Journals. Retrieved May 16, 2016, from Wounds International: http://www.woundsinternational.com/media/journals/_/575/files/24-28-vol-3-no2.pdf

2. Prudner R. (2001). Alginate and hydrofibre dressings in wound management, Journal of Community Nursing 15(5): 38-42:2001

3. Sweeney IR, Miraftab M, Collyer G. A critical review of modern and emerging absorbent dressings used to treat exuding wounds.

4. International Best Practice Guidelines: Wound Management in Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Wounds International, 2013. Available from: www.woundsinternational.com

5. Thomas S1. Alginate dressings in surgery and wound management–Part 1. J Wound Care. 2000 Feb;9(2):56-60.Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11933281

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