The variety of wound types has resulted in a wide range of wound dressings with new products frequently introduced to target different aspects of the wound healing process. The ideal dressing should achieve rapid healing at reasonable cost with minimal inconvenience to the patient. This article offers a review of the common wound management dressings and emerging technologies for achieving improved wound healing. It also reviews many of the dressings and novel polymers used for the delivery of drugs to acute, chronic and other types of wound. These include hydrocolloids, alginates, hydrogels, polyurethane, collagen, chitosan, pectin and hyaluronic acid. There is also a brief section on the use of biological polymers as tissue engineered scaffolds and skin grafts. Pharmacological agents such as antibiotics, vitamins, minerals, growth factors and other wound healing accelerators that take active part in the healing process are discussed. Direct delivery of these agents to the wound site is desirable, particularly when systemic delivery could cause organ damage due to toxicological concerns associated with the preferred agents. This review concerns the requirement for formulations with improved properties for effective and accurate delivery of the required therapeutic agents. General formulation approaches towards achieving optimum physical properties and controlled delivery characteristics for an active wound healing dosage form are also considered briefly.
- biodegradable polymers
- physical characterisation
- polymeric drug delivery systems
- wound dressings
- wound healing