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Proposed mechanism/evidence support for rinsing/cleansing/absorbing action of HydroTherapy

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Proposed mechanism/evidence support for rinsing/cleansing/absorbing action of HydroTherapy
Mark G. Rippon, PhD1, Alan A. Rogers, B.Sc(Hons)2


Since the first use of superabsorbent polyacrylate polymers (SAP) in wound care, the number of SAP-containing wound dressings has increased significantly1,2. The manufacturing process and chemical variability of these SAPs has meant that there is a diversity in the properties of these materials. The fluid handling capabilities are a key property of SAPs and are used to aid in the management of exudate-producing wounds. As well as the properties of the material itself, how it is structured within the dressing and whether or not it is combined with other components will all influence the fluid handling capability of SAP. HydroClean® plus is an innovative wound dressing that uses pre-moistened SAP to provide a rinsing/cleansing/absorbing action when used on wounds3. Here we propose a mechanism for the action of this wound dressing (Figure 1) from the evidence available.


The authors reviewed the clinical data on the benefits of HydroClean® plus in the treatment of acute and chronic wounds with regards to the dressing’s rinsing, cleansing and absorbing action1. The key areas for a proposed mechanism of action were identified and considered in the context of the function and properties of SAP and a proposed mechanism of dressing action was developed.


Clinical evidence for HydroClean® plus suggests this Hydro-Responsive Wound Dressing (HRWD) cleanses and activates wounds by softening and removing devitalised tissue, absorbing damaging wound exudate and promoting wound bed preparation for subsequent healing1. Four key areas of dressing action were identified that are central to dressing action: 1) fluid uptake; 2) protein binding and retention; 3) bacterial retention; and 4) autolysis (Table 1).

Together, these aspects form a proposed mechanistic model for the unique rinsing/cleansing/absorbing action of HydroClean® plus to provide rapid and effective wound bed preparation for subsequent healing3.


Superabsorbent polyacrylate polymers are a diverse group of materials that have been widely used in a number of applications that benefit from the material’s high fluid absorption characteristics. Their use in wound dressings has significantly improved the quality of life of patients with chronic wounds, where the management of tissue-damaging wound exudate is required, in order to aid in the healing of these wounds. The specific properties of the SAP used in HydroClean® plus and the way it is incorporated into the wound dressing – for example, pre-moistened with Ringer’s solution – offers a novel approach to wound management, and provides an innovative rinsing/cleansing/absorbing action to aid wound healing.

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