Medical Textiles | Contribution of Technical Textiles in Medical Sector
Medical textiles or Medtech is one of the most important, continuously expanding and growing field in technical textiles. Medical Textiles are the products and constructions used for medical and biological applications and are used primarily for first aid, clinical and -hygienic purposes. It consists of all those textile materials used in health and hygienic applications in both consumer and medical markets.
Applications of textiles:
There are three main application areas in medical textiles , such as:
- Implantable materials
- Non-Implantable Materials
- Healthcare and Hygiene Products.
1 . Implantable Material :
Implantable materials have applications in the effective repairs of the body parts, soft tissues, bones etc. Medical Textiles are extensively used for replacement of damaged or blocked arteries in the form of Vascular Grafts and for the treatment of swollen heart. Surgical collar is used to provide neck support to patients.
Examples: artificial kidney, artificial liver, mechanical lung, artificial ligament, artificial skin, Eye contact lenses and Artificial cornea, artificial joints /bones. These implantable materials are also calle extra-corporeal device .The use of textiles in these devices will be focused below.
2 . Non-Implantable Material :
The Non-Implantable materials include compression stockings, long tight socks, automatic cushion bandages for patients suffering from ulcer, thrombosis or immobile patients.
Fig: some non- implantable materials
Healthcare and Hygiene Products : Healthcare/Hygiene Products includes surgical gown, caps, masks, aprons, OT towels ,diapers etc.
Fig: some healthcare hygiene products
3 . Extra Corporeal Devices:
These are extra corporeally mounted devices used to support the function of vital organs, such as kidney, liver, lung, heart pacer etc. The extra corporeal devices are mechanical organs that are used for blood purification and include the artificial kidney ( dialyser ), the artificial liver, and the mechanical lung. The function and performance of these devices benefit from fibre and textile technology .
Whenever those body organs like kidney ,lung, lever, skin, heart ect become failure to continue their natural circulation then the sufferings of any person will be end by his last breathe. For these kind of patients immediate donors are required to provide those organs which are almost very difficult to find out. That’s why artificial organs are made and after long time research we textile engineers being able to make some special types of fibres which can adopt with our body and by using these our medical science makes those artificial devices successfully .
let’s see about some Extra Corporeal Devices where textiles are used :
1 . Artificial heart :
Function: Used to bridge the time to heart transplantation and pumps blood throughout the body Made by Special type of Polyurethane ,polyester fiber.
Fig: artificial heart
2 . Artificial kidney :
Function : Remove waste products from patient s blood made by polyester fiber, Hollow polyester fiber, hollow viscose.
Fig: artificial kidney
3 . Artificial liver :
Function: Separate and dispose of patients’ plasma and supply fresh plasma made by Hollow viscose .
Fig: artificial lever
4 . Mechanical lung :
Function: Remove carbon dioxide from patients’ blood and supply fresh oxygen made by Hollow polypropylene fiber, hollow silicone membrane .
Fig: artificial lung
5 . Artificial ligament :
Function :Connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint Made from Polyester fiber, Carbon fiber, Collagen.
Fig: artificial ligament
6 . Artificial skin :
Function: used in skin grafting process whenever skin damages by various accidentsmade from Chitin,Poly methyl methacrylate fiber. .
Fig: artificial skin
7 . Eye contact lenses and Artificial cornea : Made from Poly methyl methacrylate fiber.
Fig: artificial cornea
8 . Artificial joints / bones : Made from Polyethylene fibre.
Fig: artificial joints/bones
9 . Artificial vascular graft :
Function : Used when there are blockades in fluid circulation system made from Nylon, polyester, polytetrafluroethylene, polypropyline ,polyurethane .
Fig: artificial vascular draft
So ,we can see here in medical science our textile sector can contribute in a large amount and also we can say that without textiles modern medical science won’t be imagined .that’s why higher research should be done here to develop special types of textiles and enough technology as well .
At last , actually it’s not possible to describe the full detail in a small article .If we see the statistics on the topic we can find that The consumption of Medical Textiles worldwide was 1.5 million tons with a value of US$5.4 billion in 2000 .This is predicted to increase in volume terms by 4.5% per annum to 2010 to reach 2.4 million tones with a value of US$ 8.2 billion . As it’s growing rate is increasing and it turns up as the revolution in the medical science,we should take care about it more and more. Hope the usage of textile materials in medical science will be more effective and through it our textile sector will be more diversified gradually.