Medical textiles is an emerging specialist field within the textile industry showing substantial growth in the amount of research attention it has attracted over the past ten years and it is becoming a rapidly-growing part of the textile industry. Much of the stimulus for its growth has arisen from the establishment of nanotechnology enabling the incorporation of nanoparticles into fibre-forming polymers before spinning into filament form, nanofinishing treatments allowing nanomaterials to be added to fabrics and electrospinning enabling the preparation of fibre-forming polymers into nanofibres and also the incorporation of nano-particulate agents into the electrospun nanofibres.
This review serves to categorise the various domains, explore the range of textile materials and devices either emerging or now in use in healthcare and offers recommendations for future project areas to move healthcare and the medical textile sector forward. A critical review is provided of single-use items of PPE and the lack of preparedness for the recent pandemic; solutions for circumventing the shortcomings of single-use items are presented.
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