Modern hydroactive wound dressings need to do a lot: they must be absorbent and at the same time maintain the moist healing environment. In addition, they should ideally adhere to the healthy skin to improve handling – but not stick to the wound. Up to now, there has been a separate solution for each application: materials that swell into the wound but do not stick to the skin, or dressings with an adhesive wound contact layer made of silicone adhesives.
Silicone is hydrophobic and does not stick to the moist wound, but adheres to healthy skin. However, the disadvantage of this is that the additional layer makes the wound dressing less flexible and prevents it from expanding into the wound.
For the first time, Freudenberg Performance Materials has succeeded in combining these two benefits into one product. How? A silicone layer applied directly to a hydrophilic polyurethane foam within the design ensures that the material remains completely flexible. The foam absorbs wound exudate, swells into the wound and stimulates the formation of new skin tissue through direct contact with the wound bed. Antimicrobial substances (e.g. silver ions) can also act in the material where they are needed: directly at the wound bed. A clear plus for the healing process.
How can the material absorb exudate at the same time as leaving enough moisture behind? It does so thanks to the specially designed surface (see photo), whereby liquid-repellent and absorbent structures in wave form alternate with each other. The proportion of the two materials can be adjusted according to customer requirements.
All this is only possible thanks to an innovative production process. FPM has simplified the workflow according to the “make two out of seven” principle. A silicone layer is applied directly after the foam has been produced. Previously, a transfer material needed to be coated with silicone and then applied to the foam. Since fewer components are now being used, quality assurance has increased. A patent application has been filed for the new process together with the coated foam.
The new production line in Wales demonstrates just how high the quality standards for the material are. It isproduced there in a clean room and in accordance with ISO 13485.
This represents a great benefit for nursing staff. After all, a lot of skill is required when it comes to wound care. The task is to remove the used material, clean the wound and apply a new dressing, including bandaging material. In this respect, the silicone adhesive demonstrates a decisive improvement – the so-called third hand. Using the new dressing leaves one hand free to perform the other movements. Given the limited time available for care in hospitals or at home, this is a real help.
The “third hand” also makes life easier for patients without nursing support. In addition, the wound dressing can be used longer thanks to the higher absorption capacity of the silicone-coated foam. There is no need to worry about soggy clothing because the polyurethane film on the back does not allow any liquid to pass to the clothing side. Both of these factors mean fewer dressing changes.