A new kind of biofoam pad could help trauma patients recover faster.

Pads are an integral part of any wound care regimen. Some pads deal with exudate and regulate moisture levels. Meanwhile, pads treated with silver can greatly improve healing rates. Now, a new kind of pad could help further innovate the wound healing industry. 

Absorption to the max

As the Penn State News reported, College of Agricultural Sciences professor Jeffrey Catchmark is the designer of a patent-pending biofoam pad. Drawing inspiration from materials like cellulose, Catchmark crafted the pad from a combination of potato starch and chitosan, a special protein derived from shellfish. As Catchmark explains it, he originally wanted to use the foam as a cheaper alternative to Styrofoam, but quickly found that specific marketplace quite restrictive. So, after meeting with doctors from Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center, he realized there was a demand for biodegradable foams in the wound care field.

Catchmark said that the foam is tailor-made for trauma care thanks to a number of unique features. Not only can the foam absorb blood and other bodily fluids, it won’t stick to the skin and cause further damage or irritation. The pad helps control blood loss through a hemostatic agent, which causes blood vessels to contract. The foam is also quite flexible, and can conform to every part of the body, which makes it great for treating wounds like gunshots and deep cuts. Finally, the pad also utilizes a special gel concoction that increases healing rates, and when no longer viable, the gel is then absorbed harmlessly by the body.

Currently, the foam is undergoing tests at the Hershey Medical Center. Researchers there are experimenting with features like the level of blood absorption and wound conformability on several cadavers. From there, the pad will enter into clinical trials on both animal and human subjects. Eventually, Catchmark said he wants the pad to be included in a go-to pack for first responders, which will feature several sizes to treat different wounds.

Finding the right fit

Until Catchmark’s biofoam option becomes readily available, there are plenty of padding options for patients and consumers alike. Alongside the aforementioned examples, there are pads treated with hydrogel, which offer pain relief while reducing infection risk. Even chemical-free gauze pads are great for tackling heavy exudate. And if you’re recovering from surgery, ABD pads are great for these extra sensitive wounds.

No matter what pad you want, you can find it through Advanced Tissue. As the nation’s leader in specialized wound care supplies, Advanced Tissue delivers to patients at home and in long-term care facilities.