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Nonwovens are extensively used in the medical field and in protection against biological agents in other sectors. For example, they can be designed to deliver critical safety properties, such as prevention against infections and diseases. With today’s multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria and virus, nonwovens can help in the fight against cross-contamination and the spread of infection in a medical or surgical environment. Because they are used only once and incinerated after use, the need for handling is avoided and the spread of contaminants is minimised.

Nonwovens are also increasingly a major component in the design of "smart" wound care products, providing such functions as the creation of a moist wound healing environment, with controlled vapour transmission, absorbency and low skin adhesion.

Most recent nonwoven innovations include the design of new scaffolds for 3D biological tissue engineering, implantable fabrics that can reinforce natural tissues, and nanofibre nonwoven filtration media offering enhanced particle capture properties. New nonwoven materials with improved finishes including liquid repellent, virus proof and bacterial barrier properties have also been developed for applications such as surgical masks, gowns and drapes, especially in view of the high demands of the new European Standards, EN 13795.

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Some examples of where nonwovens are used

  • Surgical: disposable caps, gowns, masks, scrub suits and shoe covers
  • Drapes, wraps and packs
  • Sponges, dressings and wipes
  • Bed linen
  • Contamination control gowns
  • Examination gowns
  • Lab coats
  • Isolation gowns
  • Transdermal drug delivery
  • Shrouds
  • Underpads
  • Procedure packs
  • Heat packs
  • Ostomy bag liners
  • Fixation tapes
  • Incubator mattress
  • Sterilisation wraps (CSR wrap)
  • Wound care
  • Cold/heat packs
  • Drug delivery (patches etc.)

The advantages of using nonwovens

  • Protection against
    • dry or wet contact
    • air-borne particles
  • Fully compliant with EU standard EN 13795
  • Single-use = 100% certainty
  • Custom-made for the operating theatre
    • procedure-specific design
    • optimum wearer comfort
    • strong yet light in weight
    • optimal fluid absorbency
    • exchange of air, body heat and moisture
  • Excellent barrier properties
  • Excellent uniformity
  • Breathability
  • Abrasion resistance and lint free
  • Repellency
  • Self-adherent edges
  • Aseptic folding
  • Engineered stability for ETO, plasma, radiation, or steam sterilisation
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