• Reinforced Alginates

    SFM’s quick gelling calcium alginate fibres are intimately blended with non-gelling, reinforcing fibres to provide alginate dressings with significantly superior strength.

Reinforced Alginates

SFM’s quick gelling calcium alginate fibres are intimately blended with non-gelling, reinforcing fibres to provide alginate dressings with significantly superior strength.

For over 30 years alginate dressings have been part of the clinicians armoury in treating wounds. George Winter demonstrated in the early 1960’s that rather than being allowed to dry and scab over, wounds heal faster when they are kept moist¹. Alginate dressings were developed in part in response to this as they form a gel on contact with wound exudates and maintain a physiologically moist micro-environment that promotes healing and the formation of granulation tissue.

The first calcium alginate dressings were originally developed to be washed away from the wound so that removal of the dressing is less painful and does not interfere with healing granulation tissue. This remains  an important feature of some calcium alginate dressings to this day.

There are some types of wounds such as cavity wounds where this particular aspect of alginate dressings is not desirable. Cavity wounds are those wounds extending beneath the layers of the dermis, potentially exposing tissues such as fascia, tendon, muscle or bone. Cavity wounds with undermining, a sinus or a fistula can form for reasons such as surgery, trauma or a patient’s chronic condition leading to the development of a chronic wound. Cavity wounds are often packed with dressings to absorb exudate and to help manage the risk of infection. When changing the dressing it is essential to avoid damage to the wound bed ensuring that the complete dressing is removed from the wound to prevent the pieces left behind acting as a focus for infection. It is important that the care giver is able to select a dressing that has a strong wet strength and maintains its integrity on removal. Some alginate dressings use a synthetic fabric, made from a material obtained from oil such as nylon or from polyester which can be less soft than the alginate fibres, to increase the strength of the dressing and to facilitate intact removal.

SFM take a different approach to solving this problem preferring an approach using environmentally friendly, biodegradable and biocompatible cellulose fibres to enhance the wet strength of the alginate fabric to facilitate intact removal. This approach provides a dressing with the same appearance giving maximum softness, conformability and absorbency for wound dressings.

References

1. Formation of the scab and the rate of epithelisation of superficial wounds in the skin of the young domestic pig (Nature 193:293 1962)

Alginate Technology