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Developments in medical textiles, 3rd quarter 2007
published in Issue 70, 3rd quarter 2007
Textiles and textile fibres have long played a vital role in the medical and health care sector. Traditional products include bandages for covering wounds, sutures for stitching together the sides of open wounds to promote healing, substrates for plaster of Paris casts, and incontinence products. However, the role played by fibre-based materials has advanced dramatically in recent years. For example, bioglass fibres are now used in tissue engineering to create new bone structures, and textile scaffolds are being used to promote cell growth and build cell structures. Textile-based stents—small cylindrical tubes made from biocompatible materials—are helping to support and keep open veins and arteries. Many are complex structures and require the use of sophisticated manufacturing technologies. Textile stents can also be biodegradable over a predetermined period of time, thus avoiding the need to remove them surgically when they are no longer needed. Fibres are also being used in nerve regeneration techniques to repair injuries resulting from trauma or surgery. Furthermore, devices made of textile fibres can be implanted to release therapeutic drugs at controlled rates and for controlled lengths of time.
Bandages have themselves evolved into advanced dressings for wounds and burns which enable antibiotic and other drugs to be delivered directly to the parts of the body where they are needed. Some incorporate agents for stopping blood loss quickly. Recent advances include those from USA-based Area Laboratories, Battelle Memorial Institute, Ethicon, Perlei Medical, Quick-Med Technologies, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), as well as from New Zealand-based Comvita, UK-based ConvaTec, French company Imedex Biomatériaux, and Norway-based Nycomed Pharma. Sutures have evolved from natural materials obtained from animals’ intestines to advanced biodegradable or bioabsorbable materials which eliminate the need for further medical attention once stitching has taken place. Recent advances in sutures include those from USA-based Honeywell International, Poly-Med and Tyco Healthcare, as well as those from Biotronik in Switzerland. In casts, moisture-curing resins and glass fibres offer a lightweight and more comfortable alternative to plaster of Paris. Recent advances have been published by BSN Medical in Germany, Ossur in Iceland, and Alcare in Japan. Developments in stents include those from USA-based Ethicon and Scimed Life Systems and UK-based Vascutek. Advances in cell growth technology include the use of reinforced spider silk from Tufts University in the USA as well as supports for cartilage and bone regeneration from Bioretec in Finland. Textile fibres and conduits are also being developed to guide nerve reconnection and regeneration. Recent advances in this field include those from Astra Tech in Sweden, and Oxford Biomaterials in the UK. Other areas of development include antimicrobial fabrics for medical uses from CC Technology Investment of Hong Kong, Foss Manufacturing Company in the USA, and Rhodianyl in France.
Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors – as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.
Reports in Technical Textile Markets include:
company and country profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others, in terms of production, sourcing, import/export, infrastructure and development, and plans for the future.
profiles of the world's top 40 producers of nonwovens – updated each year with details of developments from each of the leading producers, including acquisitions, investments and divestments, and analyses of trends which the "rising stars" are using to their advantage.
statistical reports – including consumption data, by fibre and end-use applications. Regular updates are published for fibre consumption in Japan, the rest of Asia, the USA, and Western Europe.
market sector information – analyses of important commercial end-user applications, and profiles of both established and emerging markets which take into account such innovations and developments as nanotechnology and intelligent textiles.
regular updates on innovations in fibres, technical textiles, apparel and machinery – including developments in the following categories: fibres and yarns; technical textile fabrics for industrial applications; machinery; technical textiles for apparel; composites; other technical textile products; and technical textile treatments and finishes.
reports on new technological developments and other topical issues – with clear, authoritative comments on their economic and commercial significance. The reports bring to your attention the key issues which you can use to develop your business, and provides contact details of useful organisations.
So whether you are involved in man-made fibres, nonwovens or technical textiles – in manufacturing, converting, import/export, or end use – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance – a subscription to Technical Textile Markets will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Technical Textile Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five research-based reports (see above) and an editorial.
Electronic supplement If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.
In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive a monthly update of business news, called "Technical Textiles Business Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge.
Technical textiles are used in a wide range of end-use applications and markets, including agricultural; automotive; building/ construction/ engineering; medical and hygiene; packaging; protective clothing; sports and sportswear; and transport. A subscription to Technical Textile Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
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(Samuel F Simpson Jr; Vice President Global Sales; Gerber Technology )