Nowadays, medical textiles is very much common term in our technical textile. A combination of medical sciences and textile materials are called medical textiles, a new area invented by developing new fibers, yarn and fabrics. The using area of medical textiles varies from simple gauge bandage to tissue culture. Medical textiles can be used as a supporting device in cardiac surgery, also can be used as a pacemaker.
The market of medical textiles is increasing day by day. Bangladesh has a huge scope to capture the medical textile market by creating a value-added product of medical application.
Worldwide consumption of medical textiles
The US market for medical textiles are increasing day by day. A recent report showed that the global medical textiles market will reach 23.3 billion within 2025. On the basis of the fabric, the non-woven fabrics market has high demand because of its disposability in contagious diseases.
On the other hand, it is a low-cost price taker. Woven fabrics are very much dimensional stable but they are low extensive. The latest technology are invented by mainly knitted structure.
Types of medical textiles
Medical textile has various types. It can be explained by the product base and functional characteristics base. In terms of product, the types of medical textiles are:
From this chart, we can see that cardiovascular diseases, the medical textile is used as a supporting device. That’s why it is classified as non–implantable. Above all medical textiles, surgical medical textiles can be used most of the cases.
Medical textiles is a smart material
According to the definition of smart materials, the materials that have one or more properties can be significantly changed in a controlled style such as stress, temperature, moisture, pH, electric and magnetic fields. Actually, at the beginning of using medical textiles, it could be used as an antimicrobial material but nowadays medical textiles are using as smart material. For use as a cardiac supporting device, it acts as smart materials.
Such kind of application is used as a medical textile for smart materials. Generally, nanofiber-based fabric are using to produce this fabric.
Smart medical textiles are used also drug delivery dressing applications, smart bandage and clusters. It is also applicable for the respiratory system, neural activity, thermoregulation, physiotherapy process. Optical based smart medical fabrics are used to environment measuring. So it is said that medical textiles based smart material are playing a vital role in the smart material industry. The processing of smart materials is not an easy task.
This is a very complex technique generally it is done by blended fabric. Cotton -polyester blended fabric or other man-made derivatives are used as smart materials. So in this case of electrical application man- made textile materials are used because of its lower moisture regain properties and static electricity properties, which is worked by electron repulsion theory.
Functional characteristics of medical textiles as a smart material:
1: Act simultaneously as sensors and actuators.
2: Perform controlled mechanical action without any external mechanisms.
3: They are adaptive with environmental conditions.
4: High level of miniaturization.
5: New functions development.
Ideal Smart structure:
1: Sensor-skin / nerves:
Sensors and skins nerves are distributed and integrated and to sense temperature, humidity stress, force and pressure.
2: Actuators muscles /nerves:
They are also distributed and integrated. It can generate shape, force and motion. Change stiffness and damping level.
3: Decision/ control-serves-genetics:
It is distributed or hierarchical. It has a local level decision/actuation. It has high level communication with brain.
4: Additional features:
It has self – breeding properties. It has self-healing/repairing properties. It is also self- diagnosis.
They are worked by thermoresponsive smart polymers. Below the diagram is shown:
Medical textiles as a cardiac supporting device
Knitted and woven fabric are being used as a cardiac supporting device. The innovative medical device has been made by the knitted and woven fabric which is correcting life-threatening conditions of the heart and vascular system. Implantation of the new devices requires less invasive surgical procedures and involves less risk than traditional procedures, while also causing fewer complications in hospital days. In the knitted category, a device was made which is helpful to more than 23 million people whose are affected by heart failure. Heart failure is a chronic syndrome which is occurred when the heart is not getting enough amount of blood.
Generally, valve leakage is reliable for this. The treatment of heart failure is only the drug therapies and surgical but they are temporary treatment. The only permanent treatment is a heart transplant. But most of the patients cannot qualify for heart transplantation. So they have to do the surgical treatment or drug therapy.
So the scientists have developed a device named cardiac Supporting device, which is intended to halt the progression of heart failure. The CSD (cardiac supporting device) research was conducted to determine the best material, yarn configuration, knit pattern and processing to use to produce CSD fabric. It is a mesh-like warp knitted fabric. The fabric is fabricated from the multifilament texture.
Polyester fabric is used for it. Polyester fabric has biological tissue response and it has the compatibility for the epicardial surface of the heart. The polyester yarns are warp knitted into a mesh configuration using a variation of an atlas stitch. After knitting the fabric is conditioned to ease its handling during the processing to manufacture the CSD.
Manufacture of the CSD includes cutting the fabric to the pattern, sewing, scouring and heat forming. The result of this process is a device can give specific mechanical characteristics. It can give the mechanical stresses, varying degrees of compatibility to the heart. The support is given by CSD can prevent the stretching of muscle cells and allow relaxation, recovery of the affected muscle cells. The main advantages of CSD are low cost and less risky for heart failure. The CSD is now working as an investigation device.
Technical textiles using in the medical area is not a recent idea but medical textiles using as a smart material is a recent development. The using of the cardiac supporting device reduces the heart blockage by 25%. It can be helpful to minimize the leakage cell of valves. So, using medical textiles as smart materials is very much important in the medical sector.