A wound dressing has to protect the wound site mechanically, against infections and crucially it should also actively support the healing process. Ideally a wound dressing should provide a good gas/fluid exchange, absorb exudates without leakage and wound odors, support some debridement, and of course being non allergic, non-toxic, sterile and reduces the scar formation as much as possible.
Electrospun dressings offers several advantages compared to conventional wound dressing. Controlling the electrospun fiber size allows to produce nanofibers which have an intrinsic hemostatic activity without the use of hemostatic agents.
Absorbing the wound exudate lets the dressing swell. With around 2%, conventional film dressings have a limited ability to swell. Due to the inherent high porosity and the possibility to select very hydrophilic polymers, electrospun patches can swell by 17-213% (P. Zahedi et al. Polymers Advanced Technologies 2009) of their size, while maintain their semi-permeability. Such electrospun wound dressing prevents the drying out of the wound providing a good exchange of gasses and moisture with the air. Wounds don’t have standard sizes and shapes electrospun products provide a full conformability. It is important to be able to control the shape of the whole implant as well as its depth and the fiber diameter from the bottom to the surface. IME brings the control of the electrospinning process to the next level. On top of controlling the size and shape of your construct, an online monitoring of the scaffold thickness and its growth is possible via the Thickness Measuring Module. This allows customers to design the wound dressings with the proper depth depending on the wound that must be treated. It is possible to tailor the characteristics of the wound dressing for a patient personalized care.
Electrospinning further allows to functionalize the resulting product by adding compounds of choice directly in the electrospinning process, making a secondary functionalization step obsolete. For example cytokines to improve cell infiltration or antimicrobial compounds like silver nanoparticles can so be directly included in the fibers. Furthermore electrospun wound dressing can be designed in order to have an anti-scarring activity. The highly porous structure and a geometry, which mimics the skin ECM, can stimulate cells to infiltrate the scaffolds, generating new skin, limiting therefore the scar deposition. Moreover electrospun meshes are easy to sterilize and the highly porous structure allows the sterilizing agent to reach also the fibers located in the center of the mesh. Taken together the use of electrospun wound dressing would help in improving the aesthetic and functional outcome of the wound healing process.