Assessment of the Wet Strength and Log Reduction Capacity of a Silver Alginate Dressing
Alginate dressings are a 'natural' form of dressing manufactured from different types of algae and seaweed, which form into a gel when they come into contact with liquid. They are designed to absorb wound fluid (exudate) and, therefore, control the wound's moisture levels. Alginates can also be used to stop bleeding.1 Because it is important that alginate fibers do not remain in the wound after removal, a dressing’s wet strength should be considered. Also, many alginate dressings are combined with an antimicrobial agent for infection control and it is important to change an alginate frequently if infection is suspected, as any microbes that have been absorbed into the dressing are then removed.2
The silver-impregnated calcium alginate fibers when in contact with wound exudate or blood form a gel which creates a moist wound healing environment for optimal wound healing. The silver ions in the Silver Alginate Dressing protect the dressing from a range of microorganisms – demonstrating a ≥ 4 log reduction over 5 days.
Wet strength studies were done following a standard tensile strength test method. The full effect of the gelling capacity of the Silver Alginate Dressing was compared and demonstrated superior wet strength over the competitor products. The dressing is evenly supported, meaning it will remain intact regardless of the direction it is pulled. The in vitro high wet strength of the Silver Alginate Dressing minimizes any “leave behind” in the wound which may correlate to less pain during dressing changes.