Advanced wound care dressings improve treatment for patients that experience frequent or long-lasting wounds. Film strips inside dressings, which are permeable to moisture vapor and air but keep bacteria and viruses out, accelerate the healing process. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is widely used to manufacturer these films. Yet, in addition to its sustainability drawbacks, improving this material’s moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) performance is time- and cost-intensive.
Healthcare industries look to enhance patient care and lower supply costs by investing in advanced wound care dressings. This shift is driven by higher rates of chronic diseases that result in serious or recurring injuries. Patients with diabetes, for example, often experience frequent ulcers or require surgical intervention that takes weeks or months to heal from. By 2029, the advanced wound care market is expected to be valued at 15.91 billion USD, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 7% over 8 years.
Advanced wound care dressings speed up healing through durable, non-absorbent films. To stimulate skin regrowth, these adhesive strips need to be highly permeable to moisture vapor and oxygen. This requires a material solution that offers excellent moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) performance and prevents bacteria or viruses from penetrating its surface.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is widely used to produce advanced wound care films, as it provides a strong barrier against pathogens and offers high flexibility that makes wound dressings more comfortable for patients. However, using this material to develop thin films with higher MVTR performance typically increases extrusion processing time and costs by up to 30%.
TPUs are manufactured from toxic substances such as isocyanate blocks, which are classified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as carcinogenic. TPU-based films can leak toxins into the environment if improperly disposed of – especially when incinerated. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that COVID-19 has increased global medical waste by a factor of 10, and resulted in an additional 8 million tonnes of plastic entering oceans every year. This has increased pressure to improve product sustainability on medical supply companies.
Envalior’s Care material portfolio responds to the growing need for medical equipment that keeps patients and healthcare workers safer, offers greater comfort and helps preserve the environment. Our Arnitel® Care TPC solution creates a highly breathable monolithic film that provides a 100% effective barrier against bacteria and viruses – without any need for microscopic pores that increase the patient’s risk of infection. The material is optimized for wound care films, surgical gowns, respiratory tubing, and more:
Arnitel Care TPC offers MVTR performance as high as 45,000g/m 2 per day in 15µm films. Tensile modulus testing comparing the material to the TPU used in commercial dressings indicates that Arnitel films can be made 50% thinner. This improves both MVTR and how well dressings conform to body shape, without compromising protection against pathogens. Arnitel Care TPC enables 10µm films to be produced at 300m/min – a significant productivity increase over TPU competitors – which drives operating and material costs savings.
Our teams offer comprehensive design support that enables you to meet custom requirements, such as films with different thicknesses across multiple sections. We also provide hands-on extrusion process tooling and quality assurance services to minimize part defect rates and further reduce your costs. To combat plastic pollution generated by medical waste, Envalior offers a range of bio-mass balanced Arnitel grades and is on track to deliver a complete portfolio of recycled or bio-mass balanced materials for every industry we serve by 2030.
13 December 2022
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Business Development Manager
Paul Moruzi is a Market Development Manager with Envalior. He brings more than 30 years of experience in automotive and non-automotive applications with engineering plastics, including more than 22 years focused on copolyester elastomers. In his current role, he is focused on medical applications. Paul holds a MBA from York University, Toronto, ON, and a Bachelor of Science, Engineering from Queen's University, Kingston, ON.