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Review
, 26 (11), 680-690

Surfactants and Their Role in Wound Cleansing and Biofilm Management

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Review

Surfactants and Their Role in Wound Cleansing and Biofilm Management

S L Percival et al. J Wound Care.

Abstract

Surfactants are widely used as detergents, emulsifiers, wetting agents, foaming agents and dispersants in the cosmetics, hygiene, food and oil industries. Their use in a clinical setting is also common, particularly within the field of wound care. Many wound cleansers contain surfactants and subsequently there is available data that shows the growing potential of these wound cleansers in the enhancement of wound closure. The presence of microorganisms in wounds has been recognised as a significant factor that delay healing. In complex or chronic wounds that are complicated by biofilms, persistent inflammation or the production of non-viable tissue and slough, the use of surfactants has been shown to aid in the removal of these barriers to wound healing. The use of concentrated surfactant(poloxamer) based wound dressings represent an important component of wound management. Consequently, this article will discuss the effect of clinically used surfactants, with specific focus on a concentrated poloxamer for use against wound biofilm.

Keywords: biofilms; cell repair; surfactants; wound cleaning; wound healing.

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