Caring for wounds effectively is a top concern for hospitals, particularly in today’s climate of lifestylerelated chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and a rising geriatric population. Wound-dressing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and contract manufacturers (CMs) require the ability to produce wound-care dressings that not only prevent infection, but are also durable, conformable and comfortable for the patient. They often turn to silver as an antimicrobial agent, but that doesn’t come without problems.

How can wound-dressing OEMs and CMs include the right antimicrobial materials in their wound dressings, and how can they ensure that the silver they choose meets medical standards and satisfies patients? Fortunately, advanced polyurethane foams that incorporate silver exist to ensure hospitals can reduce infection rates, while meeting the demands of the increasing need for wound care.

POREX combines metallic particle silver and PHMB with the Medisponge SuperSoft foams to achieve the synergistic quick-kill and long-term efficacy expected from wound-care dressings.

Foam technology

POREX makes it possible to produce high-performance woundcare dressings with silver particulates that are incorporated into polyurethane foams. The POREX® silver antibacterial foam has been developed by combining metallic particle silver and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) with Medisponge® SuperSoft® foams to deliver infection prevention, with advanced performance and comfort characteristics. Because the silver in the antibacterial foam is from metallic particles, it disperses during the process of manufacturing the foam. This results in the silver being uniformly dispersed and distributed throughout the matrix of the foam. It becomes a part of the foam – not a coating surface spraying or impregnation that lies on top of it – and cannot be washed off, nor seep into the wound. Because the silver is incorporated directly into the foam through a proprietary manufacturing process, it lasts longer and has a controlled rate of performance.

Additionally, since a small amount of silver has proved to achieve the same efficacy of foam made of silver salt, POREX does not need to overuse the precious metal. The silver metallic particle, together with synergistic additives, helps to reduce the silver content, reducing cytotoxicity levels, and achieving ISO 10993 compliance for intracutaneous irritation and guinea pig maximisation sensitisation tests. POREX combines metallic particle silver and PHMB with Medisponge SuperSoft foams to achieve the synergistic quick-kill and long-term efficacy expected from wound-care dressings.

Healthcare applications

POREX silver antibacterial foam fights healthcare-associated bacterial infections. When tested in accordance with the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ modified test method 100, the POREX silver antibacterial foam dressing material showed short-term (24 hours) and long-term (seven days) efficacy of >99.99% (>4.0 log reduction) against Grampositive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis, as well as Gram-negative bacteria species, including E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumonia. The result is a metallic particle silver-modified hydrophilic flexible polyurethane foam that is ideal for antibacterial dressings.

POREX is the largest independent wound-care pre-polymer and foam producer, so the company controls all aspects of producing medical foam. It does not make or sell finished wound dressings, placing its focus is on making its client’s successful with their own brand. POREX can adapt its medical-foam technology to a client’s proprietary product characteristics, including active ingredients, additives and laminates. From primary to secondary dressings covering wounds, such as ulcers, lacerations, incisions, donor sites, peristomal and infected wounds, POREX offers options to handle these with multiple thicknesses and absorptive capabilities.