Alginates

Alginate dressings, produced from seaweed, absorb exudate and donate calcium to the wound area which also helps to stop bleeding. Alginates absorb exudate away from the wound whilst also maintaining an ideal moist wound-healing environment. AMS alginates are available in both rope and felt in two different varieties:

High gelling alginates produce a thick fibrous amorphous gel that locks away exudate whilst also maintaining a moist wound environment.

Highly integral alginates absorb wound exudate into the dressing which causes the dressing to swell, this ensures a high wet strength which ensures intact removal from the wound bed. 

AMS is constantly reviewing and developing its alginates to ensure that it remains at the forefront of alginate technology.

Alginates: A Key AMS Technology

Alginate is a natural polymer that exists widely in many species of brown seaweed.

The biological function of alginates is to give strength and flexibility to the algal tissue and regulate the water content in the seaweed. It is these properties along with the ability to produce fibres from its isomers, that make Alginate the ideal wound dressing.

Chemically, alginate is a polymeric acid composed of two monomer units:

High G Alginates

For the High-G calcium alginate fibres (extracted from the stems of the seaweed), the calcium binding ability of the fibre is strong and the ion exchange process between the fibre and the wound exudate is slow. High-G calcium fibres are therefore less absorbent than High-M calcium fibres.

High M Alginates

For fibres made from a High-M alginate (extracted from the leaf fronds of the seaweed), the calcium ions in the fibres are more easily replaced by sodium ions and the fibres swell easily in wound exudate.

Control of manufacture and end product

During manufacture, chemical and physical properties are monitored and can be engineered into the dressing specification to give optimum performance for the material being manufactured i.e:

  • Calcium content
  • Sodium content
  • Absorbency
  • Gelling ability fibre strength
  • Fibre diameter
  • Surface structure

Next Generation Alginate Dressings

The next generation of alginate dressings are being designed to:

  • Have increased absorbency
  • Transport excess exudate away from the wound surface
  • Be self adhesive to provide mechanical and microbial protection
  • Be anti-microbial (e.g. silver)
  • Enable tissue cleansing and scar reduction
  • Be fibre free
  • To include other additives, e.g. antimicrobial
AMS Alginate Rope

AMS Alginate Rope

a-L-guluronic acid (G)

a-L-guluronic acid (G)

B-D-mannuronic acid (M)

ß-D- mannuronic acid (M)

AMS Alginats

Published : 06/10/2009 14:26:04