Medical Textile

Medical Textile

Medical textile / Meditech also is known as bio-medical textile refers to the combination of textile technology and medical sciences.

It is a general term that describes a textile structure that has been designed and produced for use in any of a variety of medical applications is called medical textile.

Now the question arises,  what is the Purpose of Medical textiles?

The main purpose of medical textile is to

  • Improve human health and wellness. In the field of application, medical textiles are not just used in contact with skin, but also fulfill important functions within the body.
  • It also Develops new fibers and yarns.

Types of fabric used in Medical textile

Different types of fabrics are used in medical textiles. But mainly four types of fabrics are mostly used in medical textiles. Those are-

  1. Woven Fabric
  2. Non-woven Fabric
  3. Braided Fabric
  4. Knitted Fabric

Properties of the medical textile are as follows:

  • Medical textiles must be non-toxic and non-allergenic.
  • It must be compatible with most living systems.
  • It should have enough lightness, strength, elasticity, softness, etc.

Classification of Medical Textile

The textile used for medical and surgical purposes can be classified as follows –

  • Healthcare/hygiene products (bedding, clothing, surgical gowns, clothes, wipes, etc.)
  • Nonimplantable materials (Wound dressing, bandages, plasters, etc.)
  • Extra-corporeal devices (artificial kidney, liver, and lung)
  • Implantable materials (surgical sutures, artificial ligaments, artificial joints, etc.)

Healthcare & hygienic products

  • The products that are used for treatment and care purposes are called health and hygiene products. The range of products available for healthcare and hygiene is vast, but they are typically used either in the operation theatre or in the hospital wards for hygienic, care, and safety of the staff and patients. They could be washable or disposable.


  • Products used in an operation theater include surgical gowns, PPE, caps and masks, patient drapes, and cover cloths of various sizes. During surgical operations, it is essential to maintain a clean environment in the operation theater and strict control of infection.

let’s see some examples of healthcare and hygiene products and their structure.

Products Fiber type Fabric type
Surgical gowns Cotton, polyester, viscose rayon, polypropylene Nonwoven, woven
Caps, masks Viscose rayon, glass, polyester Nonwoven
Surgical covers, drape cloths Polyester, polyethylene Woven, nonwoven
Bedding, blankets, sheets,pillow covers Cotton, polyester Woven, knitted
Uniforms, protective clothing Cotton, polyester, polypropylene Woven, nonwoven
Incontinence diaper sheets with cover stock, absorbent layer, and outer layer Polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, wood fluff, superabsorbents Nonwoven
Wipes Viscose rayon Nonwoven
Surgical hosiery Polyamide, polyester, cotton, elastomeric yarns Nonwoven, knitted

Non-Implantable materials


Nonimplantable materials refer to those used outside the human body. Wound dressing and bandage are the most known non-implantable material.

Wound dressings are those materials used for wound healing it helps:

  • To provide protection against infection
  • To absorb blood and exudate to promote healing
  • To apply medication to the wound.

Wound dressings normally consist of three components, which are:

  • Contact layer
  • Absorbent pad
  • Base material

The contact layer is used to prevent adherence of the dressing to the wound and it enables easy removal of the dressings.

The absorbent pad absorbs the blood and exudate.

The base material keeps the dressing in place and is also responsible for protecting the wound from physical damage.

Products Fiber type Fabric type
Absorbent pads, wound contact layer Cotton, viscose, silk, polyamide, polyethylene Nonwoven, knitted, woven
Simple bandages,elastic bandages Cotton, viscose, polyamide, elastomeric fiber and yarn Woven, knitted, nonwoven
Plasters Viscose, polyester, polypropylene, perforated film Knitted, woven, nonwoven
Gauze Cotton, viscose Woven, nonwoven
Wadding Viscose, cotton, wood-pulp Nonwoven

Extra-Corporeal device

These are the artificial organs that are used to replace the diseased ones. There have been artificial kidneys, liver, and lungs.

An artificial liver is made of cellulose fibers to separate and dispose of patient plasmas and supply fresh plasma.

A mechanical lung is made with hollow polypropylene fibers or a hollow silicone membrane, which is used to remove carbon dioxide from patients’ blood and supply fresh oxygen.

An artificial heart is a plastic pump lined with decomposed velour to reduce damage to blood, and is a chambered apparatus about the size of a human heart.

Implantable Materials

These are the textile structures that can be used inside the human body for various purposes, such as closure(sutures) or replacement surgery (artificial ligaments, tendon)

Property of Implantable Materials

Biocompatibility is one of the most important factors. There are also four other key factors. Those are: –

  • Porosity determines the rate at which human tissue will grow and fill the implant.
  • Small circular fibers are better accepted by human tissue than larger fibers with irregular cross-sections.
  • The fiber and its components must not release toxic substances, and the fiber should be free from surface contaminants such as lubricants and sizing agents.
  • The fiber should be biodegradable.

Examples of Implantable medical textile materials and their structure

Products Fiber type Fabric type
Sutures Collagen, polylactide, polyglycolide, polyester, polyamide, polytetrafluoroethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene. Mono-filament, braided
Artificial tendons, artificial ligaments, artificial skin, artificial lumen, eye contact lenses Polytetrafluoroethylene, polyester, polyamide, silk, carbon, etc. Woven, braided
Orthopedic implants, artificial joints, artificial bones Silicone, polyacetal, polyethylene, polysulphone, carbon, polyester, glass, ceramic Composite
Cardiovascular implants, vascular grafts, heart valves Polyester, polytetrafluoroethylene Knitted, woven

Nano-technology in medical textile

Nano-technique has archived tremendous success in the last decade. It can provide high durability for fabrics.
Nanoparticles are also applied as a coating on the surface of the finished product.
This technique can enhance durability and are also capable of making the fabric resistant to extreme weather conditions.

Smart Medical fabric technology

Like our smartphones, our wearing clothes can be smart! By the grace of smart medical textile.

It is a smart medical textile that boosts up our health care. Just like a nurse, our smart fabric deals to monitor our health 24 by 7. Sensors adjusted right into the textile monitor the conditions of the patient. The body temperature of patients can be regulated by fabrics according to necessity.

Read: A cloth which can hear your heartbeat

Groth of Medical Textile

The global medical textiles market size was valued at 24.70 billion Doller in the year 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3% from 2021 to 2028.
The growing market of medical textile-based implantable goods, such as

  • artificial ligaments,
  • tendons, and
  • artificial body part

In 2021, Honeywell Corporation announced N95 masks play a key role in the growth of medical textiles.

Market Size of Medical Textile


  • Look at the picture. The picture shows that the non-woven segment led the market and accounted for over 65.0% share of the global revenue in 2021. Those products had superior properties such as high air permeability, superior strength to weight ratio, high bacterial resistance, and better water vapor transmission capacity.


  • Non-woven medical textiles were at high demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand of personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks and gowns, increased significantly to virus transmission. Governments across all countries have passed strict regulations for wearing face masks in public places at all times.

Opportunity for Bangladesh in the field of medical textiles


In recent years, medical textile materials have found many different kinds of applications in the healthcare sector.

The diversity of applications founded in medical and healthcare products is remarkable, from simple bandages, biocompatible implants, tissues, antimicrobial wound treatment materials to smart medical textiles.

This sector offers the greatest scope for the development textile medical sector and the highest-value textiles for niche applications.

Many end-users with their disparate requirements create opportunities for all kinds of textile materials, such as fibers, mono- and multifilament yarns, and woven, knitted, nonwoven, braided, and composite fabrics.

As the healthcare industry is growing rapidly in Bangladesh, the demand for Medical textiles is also on the rise.

Medical textile manufacturers in Bangladesh

  1. Smart Group of Industries
  2. Nasir & Sons Bangladesh
  3. E-Baik Transport Corporation
  4. Abiyan International
  5. Sagar Trader’s

These manufacturers of Bangladesh supplying regularly their products in many countries such as the USA, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. There are now many more factories like Urmi Group, Aman Group, Dekko Group, etc. are producing personal protective equipment (PPE), N95 masks to meet the current local demand for Covid-19.

Importance of Medical Textile

From the above discussion, we can understand the importance of medical textiles for the healthier life and betterment of human beings. The development of new technologies and new items will help the patients to overcome their suffering. To get correct, hygienic products we should put our concentration to develop new technologies as well as we should put concentration on the price of the products.


Textile materials are very important in all aspects of operation and surgery. Without medical textiles, we can lead a healthy and comfortable life.

From Birth to death, we are dependent on medical textiles.

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