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BIOFUNCTIONAL TEXTILES – NEW APPROACHES FOR THERAPY AND PREVENTION IN DERMATOLOGY $100.00
Authors:  C. Wiegand, J. W. Fluhr, P. Elsner and U. C. Hipler
Abstract:
Functional textiles have been gaining in importance in medical applications. The
skin is the major interface between body and environment. Textiles have the longest and
most intense contact to the human skin. They play a critical role in inflammatory skin
conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, or in diabetic patients as well as in
aged skin. Psoriasis vulgaris and atopic dermatitis are characterized by various different
clinical and histological features depending on the stage of the disease. Lesional skin of
patients with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis is heavily infiltrated with activated neutrophils
that produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and free radicals.
The cellulose fiber industry is continuously working to improve the benefits which
cellulose fibers bring to non-woven products and to deliver them cost-effectively. As part
of this strategy, direct formation of cellulose webs has long been a subject of research.
Lyocell is a relatively new technology, used for the commercial production of stable
cellulose fibers. In the process, cellulose is directly dissolved without formation of
derivatives. The resulting fiber offers a broad range of benefits and has gained wide
acceptance for textile and non-woven applications. Furthermore, the fibers can be loaded
with numerous additives for textile fabrics, e.g. SeaCell® fibers are manufactured by
adding seaweed mainly from the family of brown and red algae.
Antimicrobial therapy has been shown to be important for treatment of atopic
dermatitis as more than 30% of these patients suffer from frequent skin infections and
over 90% of the patients are colonized with Staphylococcus aureus. Ideally antimicrobial
textiles should respect the physiological skin flora and guarantee excellent skin
tolerability. Modern textile technical solutions offer product qualities close to this ideal.
An example for fibers which meet these requirements is SeaCell® active, the
antimicrobial effect of this fiber is achieved by metal ion activation of the lyocell fibers
with incorporated seaweed. In vivo studies demonstrated an excellent antimicrobial
activity of SeaCell® active against different germs. Thus, this fiber seems to be suited for bio-active textiles in specific body regions and skin conditions. The mode of action can
be attributed at least partially to anti-oxidant properties shown in in vitro assays. The
silver containing SeaCell® active showed anti-microbial activity against S.aureus without
any negative effects on non-pathogenic bacteria. Clinical appearance showed a slightly
positive effect but did not reach statistical significance. Production processes can affect
fiber shape and thus the textile performance, therefore their influence needs to be
investigated systematically. 


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BIOFUNCTIONAL TEXTILES – NEW APPROACHES FOR THERAPY AND PREVENTION IN DERMATOLOGY