Characteristics of Alginate Medical Dressings

Alginate is a natural polysaccharide copolymer, mainly from brown algae, formed by β-D-mannuronic acid and α-L-guluronic acid residues through a 1:4 glycosidic bond. The M and G blocks are arranged in the polymer chain in the form of a polymer sequence or a staggered sequence. As a medical dressing, alginate has its unique advantages, mainly in the following aspects.


1. Alginate wound dressing is highly hygroscopic


Alginate wound dressing can absorb a large amount of wound exudate, prolong the replacement time, reduce the replacement frequency and nursing time, and reduce the nursing cost. Alginate dressings can effectively retain wound exudate, provide a moist environment required for rapid wound healing, accelerate the migration of epidermal cells, promote the release of growth factors, stimulate cell proliferation, and enhance leukocyte function.


2. Biodegradability and compatibility of alginate wound dressing


Alginate is a natural polysaccharide extracted from seaweed plants, with good biocompatibility, degradability, and environmental friendliness. Biocompatibility also makes it a natural skincare beauty benefit on the skin.


3. Alginate wound dressing is easy to remove


When the exudate contacts the alginate, it expands to form a soft hydrogel. High-M alginate can be removed by rinsing with warm saline solution; high-G alginate has small swelling and can be removed as a whole, which greatly protects the new delicate tissue of the wound and can avoid the need for dressing changes. secondary trauma to the wound.


4. Alginate wound dressing gel obstructive


The alginate wound dressing will expand greatly upon contact with the exudate, and a large amount of the exudate is retained in the fibres of the gel structure. The bulking of the single fibre reduces the pore structure between the fibres, and the dispersion of the fluid is stopped. Therefore, the alginate bandage has the characteristics of "gel blocking", which greatly reduces the spread of wound exudate and the impregnation of healthy tissue, and effectively isolates the invasion of external bacteria to prevent wound infection.


5. Alginate wound dressing has a high oxygen permeability


After the alginate fibre absorbs moisture, it forms a hydrophilic gel, and the "free water" combined with the hydrophilic group becomes the channel for oxygen transmission. The oxygen enters the wound tissue from the external environment through the process of adsorption, diffusion and desorption; The high G segment of the fibre acts as the macromolecular skeleton connection point of the fibre, becomes the relatively rigid part of the hydrogel, and becomes the micropore for oxygen to pass through, avoiding the hypoxic environment of the wound and improving the quality of the wound healing environment.


6. Metal ion adsorption of alginate wound dressing


Since sodium alginate has -COO-, -OH groups in the aqueous solution, it can form coordination compounds with multivalent metal ions. Therefore, during the spinning process of preparing seaweed fibres, the type of metal ions in the coagulation bath can be changed. The G structure chelates polyvalent metal ions to form a stable complex, and the seaweed fibre has a large number of metal ions to form a conductive chain to make a multi-ion electromagnetic shielding fabric. Therefore, a large number of metal cations in alginate wound dressing have healthcare functions such as sterilization, deodorization, permanent antibacterial and antipruritic, no irritation to the skin, can promote the microcirculation of the human epidermis, and also have the functions of anti-static, partial X-ray and ultraviolet protection.


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