Burn injuries are one of the major global health problems. As per a recent report of World Health Organization (WHO), every year 195,000 people from all over the world die because of fire alone. Additionally, most of the people who survive from burn injuries carry the stigma for lifetime disabilities and deformity. Over 95% of burn-related deaths have been accounted from low-income countries as most of the high-income countries have made major advances in fire-prevention strategies and burn care. South-East Asia is on the top for fire-related deaths and also for the burn mortality rate among women.
Apart from breathing, pain, nutritional and circulatory maintenance, it is extremely important to protect a burn wound from microbial infections because of low levels of cell mediated immunity and skin injury. These infections are mostly caused by fungi and bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which release various proteases, adhesion and colonization proteins that damage adherent tissue.
Besides cleaning the wound and applying various topical anti-microbial agents, wound dressings could be an effective solution in preventing microbial infections for burn care4. The suitability of a burn wound dressing depends on a burn type. Conventional dressings are not efficient enough to induce haemostasis (mechanism to stop bleeding), adherence and in holding a moist environment around wound5. Due to the advances in the field of nanotechnology, it is now possible to design nanofiber-based wound dressings (NFDs) where an electrospun-nanofibrous layer is applied to a basic support fabric material. Nanofibers are prepared by a series of techniques; however, electrospinning is mostly used to synthesize polymeric nanofibers. Additionally, protein nanofibers (tropoelastin) have also been shown to have immense potential in making NFDs.
HemCon Med. Tech. Inc. (http://www.hemcon.com), Smith & Nephew (http://wound.smith-nephew.com), Covidien (www.covidien.com) and Integra Life Sciences (http://www.integralife.com) are some of the major companies engaged in the commercial production of NFDs. Elmarco (http://www.elmarco.cz) is developing a series of wound-care products with the help of their patented Nanospider™ technology in collaboration with Alltracel/HemCon (http://www.hemcon.com) which uses m.doc™ technology to develop haemostatic NFDs. Other patented technologies for the commercial manufacturing of nanofibers include Nanoval™ by Nanoval Gmbh & Co. (http://www.nanoval.de), Hills Melt Blown Technology™ by Hills Inc. (http://www.hillsinc.net) and Platform Technology™ by Nanotope (http://www.nanotope.com).