Introduction of Medical Textiles | Application of Medical Textiles | Requirements of Textile Material for Medical Applications

Introduction of Medical Textile
Medical textiles also known as Healthcare Textiles. Medical Textiles is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the technical textile market.It is one of the major growth areas within technical textiles and the use of textile materials for medical and healthcare products ranges from simple gauze or bandage materials to scaffolds for tissue culturing and a large variety of prostheses for permanent body implants. Textile products are omnipresent in the field of human hygiene and medical practice. Their use is based on a number of typical basic textile properties like softness and lightness, flexibility, absorption, filtering etc.

Advanced medical textiles are significantly developing area because of their major expansion in such fields like wound healing and controlled release, bandaging and pressure garments, implantable devices as well as medical devices, and development of new intelligent textile products. Present day society is undergoing changes like large population size, need of increasing his life span of every individual, various situations and hazards of human activity and civilization including transport accidents, chemical materials, fire, cold, diseases, and sports. Such factors increase the demand of medical textiles. So there are several researching works are going on all over the world in medical textile materials and polymers.

Nano-technique has acquired tremendous impulse in the last decade. Nano-fibre based products as well as nano-coated materials are present innovations in the field of medical. So in our technical poster we have gone through latest medical textiles, nano-based products due to following features and wide range of application.


Nanofibres are very attracted due to their unique properties, high surface area to volume ratio, film thinness, nano scale fibre diameter porosity of structure, lighter weight. Nanofibres are porous and the distribution of pore size could be of wide range, so they can be considered as engineered scaffolds with broad application in the field of tissue engineering. Some other applications like wound dressings, bone regeneration and nanofibres to be the carrier of various drugs to the specific sites, etc.


The consumption of Medical Textiles worldwide was 1.5 million tons in 2000 and is growing at an annual rate of 4.6%. The Indian market size of medical textiles was estimated to be INR 14.8 billion in 2003-04 and is expected to grow to INR 23.3 billion by 2007-08. Market is expected to grow by 8% p.a.


The use of textile materials for medical and healthcare products can be classified into following main areas
  • Barrier material (for infection control) 
  • Bandaging & pressure garment 
  • Wound care material  
  • Hygiene material 
  • Implantable material (sutures, art. Joints etc) 
  • Extra Corporal devices (like art. Kidney etc)
Requirements of textile material for medical applications
  • Biocompatible
  • Good resistance to alkalis, acids and micro-organisms
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Elasticity Free from contamination or impurities
  • Absorption / Repellency
  • Air permeability
Medical Textile Products

Hollow polyester fiber, hollow viscose

Application: Artificial kidney
Function: Remove waste products from patient s blood

Hollow viscose
Application: Artificial liver
Function: Separate and dispose of patients' plasma and supply fresh plasma 

Hollow polypropylene fiber, hollow silicone membrane
Application: Mechanical lung
Function: Remove carbon dioxide from patients' blood and supply fresh oxygen 

Uses of Medical 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.As such it comprises a group of products with considerable variations in terms of product performance and unite value.Because of the nature of their application many medical products are disposable items.The increased use of textiles in composite applications will provide major growth fiber consumption in terms of volume.The

Traditional applications 
 Include wound care products, diapers, braces, protheses and orthoses, wipes, breathing masks, bedding and covers, ropes and belts etc.

Innovative textile products can both add significantly to effectiveness of medical treatments as well as patient comfort At the same time, new medical textiles, may contribute to cost containment. 
 
Such innovative products:
Provide new treatment options (textile based implants instead of scarce donor organs; artificial tissues, joints and ligaments), Speed up recovery after medical treatment (innovative wound dressings; light, Breathable orthoses/ protheses) . Enhance quality of life of chronically ill people (functional clothing)

Surgeons wear, wound dressings, bandages, artificial ligaments, sutures, artificial liver/kidney/lungs, nappies, sanitary towels, vascular grafts/heart valves, artificial joints/bones, eye contact lenses and artificial cornea and the like are some of the examples of medical textiles.
Medical textiles are textile products and constructions for medical applications. They are used for first aid, clinical or hygienic purposes and rehabilitation

Examples of their application include:

  • Protective and healthcare textiles
  • Dressings, bandages, pressure garments and prosthetics
  • Hygiene products
  • Antiseptic wound dressings.

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Editor-in-Chief:

Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.


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