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Opportunities For New Entrepreneurs In Medical Textiles -
A Sun Rise Industry And Role Of Centre Of Excellence SITRA In Promotion Of Medical Textiles

Dr. Ketankumar Vadodaria
Head, Centre of Excellence for Medical Textiles-SITRA, Coimbatore


India is the second largest player in textiles after China. But when it comes to technical textiles where almost 16 different fields have been identified, India is still an infant. Medical textiles is one of the fastest growing technical textile fields in India and across the globe. Medical textiles is a sunrise industry. Medical textiles comprises of as simple products such as wipes to life saving and more complex products such as vascular grafts. India being second largest populous country in the world, with more baby birth rates and increase in average lifespan, the demand for medical textiles is going to increase year on year. Moreover, capabilities to produce cost effective medical textile products opens up doors of the international market also. The paper presents an introduction, classification, scope and challenges in the field of medical textiles.


Medical textiles is one of the fastest growing technical textile fields in India. Technical textiles are the textiles developed and manufactured textiles to meet specific functional properties for specific end use, engineered required by combining properties of different textile structures and materials. Below is the Classification list of technical textiles:

Medical Textiles :- Hygiene and Medical (Healthcare Textiles)
Agro Tech :- Agriculture, Aquaculture, Horticulture and Forestry
Build Tech :- Building and Construction
Cloth Tech :- Technical Components of Footwear and Clothing
Geo Tech :- Geotextiles and civil engineering
Home Tech :- Technical Components of Furniture, Household Textiles
Indu Tech :- Filtration, Conveying, Cleaning and other Industrial uses
Mobil Tech :- Automobiles, Shipping, Railways and Aerospace
Oeko Tech :- Environmental Protection
Pack Tech :- Packaging Components
Pro Tech :- Personal and Property Protection
Sport Tech :- Sport and Leisure

2. Classification of medical textile products

Medical textiles are those technical textiles in day to day life for maintaining hygienic & health conditions as well as in assisting / performing medical | surgical procedure including inplantables.

• Corresponding author: coemed@sitra.org.in; lab.bd@sitra.org.in

Medical textiles can be divided into:

1) Consumer products – Eg: Sanitary napkins, baby diapers, wipes, adult diapers
2) Hospital products – Eg: Surgical gowns, surgical drapes Medical textiles is classified into 5 categories

• Implantable : inside the patient’s body
• Non-Implantable : on the patient’s body
• Extracorporeal device : Besides the patient’s body
• Healthcare textiles : For the body (Usually hospital products)
• Hygiene textiles : For the body (Usually consumer products)

2.1 List of products in all sectors

Hygiene and Healthcare Medical Textiles

1. Surgical gown/drapes
2. Surgical facemasks
3. Beddings, blankets, sheets, pillow covers.
4. Feminine hygiene products
5. Wet wipes
6. Adult incontinence diapers
7. Underpads

Non-Implantable Medical Textiles

.1. Compression stockings
2. Wound dressings
3. Waddings
4. Tubular bandages
5. Gauze
6. Pressure garments

Implantable Medical Textiles

1. Vascular grafts
2. Abdominal wall patches/meshes
3. Sutures
4. Heart patches/valves
5. Stents: pet monofilament
6. Tendon/ligament reinforcements
7. Dura patches (Non-woven)
8. Artificial veins
9. Artificial joints and bones
10. Artificial skin and artificial cartilage

Extracorporeal Medical Textiles

1. Hemodialysis
2. Artificial liver
3. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
4. Artificial heart
5. HME filter
6. Leukodepletion filter

3. Features of medical textiles

The desired features of medical textiles would be

• High levels of breathability/Non breathability/barrier performance
• Hydrophilic/ Hydrophobic
• Broad spectrum of antimicrobial resistance such as bacteria, viral, fungal, mould resistance etc
• Biocompatibility
• Cell adhesion/Cell non-adhesion surface
• 2 D & 3 D structures
• Sterilability
• Biodegradable/Non biodegradable
• Elasticity/non elasticity
• Strength

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