For a study, researchers sought to create a robotic phantom system with multiple simulated wound replicates to determine the synergy in fluid absorbency and retention (sorptivity) performances, as well as the post-simulated-use mechanical durability of silver-containing gelling fiber primary dressings when used with a secondary dressing, as is common in clinical practice.

The authors assessed the sorptivity of the Exufiber Ag + (Mölnlycke Health Care, Gothenburg, Sweden) primary dressing (ExAg-polyvinyl alcohol [PVA]) against a market-leading comparator product when used with a secondary foam dressing using a robotic system including six identical wound simulators. Tensile mechanical testing was used to examine the durability of the principal dressings following simulated use. 

After 10 and 15 hours, the ExAg-PVA primary dressing supplied roughly 2- and 1.5-fold larger fluid quantities for absorption and retention by the secondary foam dressing than the comparison dressing pair. After 10 and 15 hours, the ExAg-PVA dressing was significantly less sensitive to the direction of pulling forces and, as a result, exhibited post-use mechanical strength that was approximately four and six times greater than that of the other primary dressing (when the latter dressing was tested out-of-alignment with its visible seams).

The dynamics of sorptivity and fluid sharing between primary and secondary dressings, as well as the influence of directional preference of primary dressing strength for acceptable durability and safe post-use removals, had been detailed. The assessment of these capacities in comparison should aid clinical and nonclinical decision-makers in selecting dressings that best satisfy their patients’ demands.