Aims: Good exudate management needs to be maximised for both the wound and the patient to ensure wound healing can take place in a timely manner. The in vitro studies in this article evaluate a new Hydrofiber® cover dressing (HCD) for both its exudate management and biophysical properties (e.g. cellular adhesion and contouring to uneven wound surfaces).
Methods: These included measuring fluid absorption and retention, the conformability of dressings to a simulated wound surface, measurements of fluid lateral spread, dressing bioadhesion and interactions with wound fibroblasts that were set into a collagen gel matrix.
Results: Although the majority of the foam dressings absorbed more fluid than the corresponding new HCD, when placed under pressure the ability to retain fluid was far greater with the HCD showing fluid retention in excess of 90%. Similar results were shown for the lateral spread of fluid. Not all the dressings showed complete conformability to the simulated wound surface due to the more ‘rigid’ structure of the foam dressings. The results for the bioadhesion and gel contraction studies showed the importance of combining absorption properties of foams with Hydrofiber® Technology by showing less bioadhesion (p<0.001) and being less detrimental to fibroblast contraction and viability (p<0.001).
Conclusions: These studies highlight the need to choose the most appropriate wound dressing, which not only provides the best possible exudate management, but also subjects the wound to the least number of interventions that might interfere with the repair process.
Conflict of interest: Michael Walker, Sharon Lam, and Dave Pritchard are all employees of ConvaTec Ltd.