Not all superabsorbent wound dressings are born equal: Theory and experiments

Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Among the advanced wound dressing types, superabsorbent (SA) dressings form an important class of dressings, particularly for the management of medium to highly exuding wounds. However, SA dressings are not all made the same. This educational article describes distinct, common SA dressing designs, which differ fundamentally in structure and composition, and, thereby, in their exudate absorption function and clinical efficacy. The diverse design families of SA dressings, including dressings with an SA polymer-sheet core, versus dressings with an air laid core, where the SA polymer grains are embedded in fluff, relate to different manufacturing processes, production techniques and associated fabrication costs. These fundamental structural and material differences across SA dressing designs from different manufacturers naturally lead to wide variations in the fluid handling characteristics of the products, which are analysed here using both theoretical and experimental bioengineering laboratory approaches. This work is primarily aimed at promoting critical thinking among health professionals who should ask manufacturers to present relevant testing data for an informed clinical decision-making with regards to the choice of the safest and best performing SA dressing for each treated wound case..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-750
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of wound care
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • absorption
  • air laid
  • core
  • dressing
  • dressing design
  • exudate
  • exudate management
  • fluid handling
  • polymer
  • superabsorbent polymer particles
  • viscosity
  • wound
  • wound care
  • wound dressing
  • wound healing

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