Medical textiles in orthopedics: An overview

J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2018 Mar;9(Suppl 1):S26-S33. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2017.10.016. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


The use of textile in the medical field is not new; this has given rise to a new branch known as medical textiles. These are being used to repair or replace various other musculoskeletal tissues. The most common uses of biomaterials are to create aseptic conditions for protection, general health care, and hygiene including bedding and clothing, surgical gowns, face masks, head and shoe covers, sterilization wraps, suture anchors, fiber cast and braces/orthotics. These are also used as materials for preparation of wipes, swabs, wound dressings, bandages, gauzes, plasters, pressure garments, orthopedic belts and for new applications, such as heart valves, vascular grafts, artificial veins, artificial ligaments, artificial joints, artificial skin, and artificial cartilage. The truth is that nowadays the use of biomedical textiles is more rampant than anyone realizes. Commonly used materials for preparation of biomedical textiles includes Cotton, Nylon, Silk, Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, Polyester, Polypropylene, Poly tetra-fluoro ethylene, Polyether ether ketone, and Polyether ketone. These are prepared from various monomers in varying proportions as per the requirement of the material to be used. Various methods are used in their preparation like Braiding, Knitting, and Weaving, which helps in the development of certain kinds of materials with different specificity and character. Other important measures in the preparation of the medical textile include Denier (the filament counts in multifilament fibers), Tenacity (the strength per denier) and Heat shrink (the amount of shrinkage at a particular time and temperature).

Keywords: Cotton; Nylon; Poly tetra-fluoro ethylene; Polyester; Polyether ether ketone; Polyether ketone; Polypropylene; Silk; Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene; face masks; fiber cast braces; medical textiles; shoe covers; sterilization wraps; surgical gowns; suture anchors.

Publication types

  • Review