Can Rayon Really Save Your Life?
The FTC would have you believe that “rayon from bamboo” is the same quality fabric as “traditional rayon” due to its similar process. The FTC would also have you believe that companies have been misrepresenting this fabric by calling it bamboo or fiber from bamboo rather than rayon from bamboo.
What you may not realize is that bamboo fabric is so new to the industry that it has not been given a true textile classification and until it has, the FTC has recently decided it must be called “rayon from bamboo” because it is processed in a similar manner. What they don’t tell you is that rayon is a process and when that process is applied to different source materials, the finished products are not identical.
The FTC fails to mention that rayon is merely the process and when bamboo fabric is looked at under a microscope it proves to be far superior than your typical wood-derived rayon. After all, can rayon really save your life?
The Research Behind The Science
This particular topic is one we find to be incredibly fascinating and our plan is to provide you with as much scientific information as we can get our hands on. So be sure to grab an rss feed to this blog for future posts on this topic. In the mean time we will begin with the first aspect that clearly sets wood-derived rayon and bamboo-derived rayon apart from one another.
First, we would like to take a brief moment to thank Stan Eskridge, Jr., the CEO of Entegrion, Inc. for providing us with scientific data they have published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials 91B(1), 381-389, June, 2009 (1). As some of you may know from our previous posts, Entegrion is a company located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, that has been contracted by the U.S. Navy for the development of products to control bleeding that are critically needed.
Entegrion has studied the characteristics of bamboo rayon at great length for purposes of finding a material that can transport blood in a manner that far surpasses that of any other material. With their discoveries, the Stasilon® dressing was born with the use of bamboo rayon and glass materials. This unique bandage, with all its scientific data, has been cleared for market by the FDA.
Throughout his research, Dr. Tom Fischer, Entegrion’s founder and Chief Science Officer, discovered remarkable qualities in bamboo rayon he has have never seen before in any other fiber. Because of this, Entegrion’s research is ongoing and continues to uncover amazing characteristics of bamboo rayon…one of which we will share with you here.
Scientific Results That Indicate “Rayon” and “Bamboo Rayon” are Entirely Different Animals
Entegrion’s quest for developing a unique dressing to be used for the military and civilian medicine to help save lives, led them to test approximately 70 textile fibers to determine which ones could literally make the difference in saving one’s life because of the fiber’s coagulation characteristics.
Below is a graph indicating how “specialty rayon” (Bamboo rayon) surpasses that of every other textile in terms of thrombin generation (a key measure of coagulation prowess), with wood-derived rayon being near the far end of the spectrum (Regular Rayon).
“But the FTC told us that rayon from bamboo is the same as any other rayon?”
Far from it…
Taking a closer look at these test results, Entegrion concluded the following:
1) The crystallinity of bamboo viscose is lower than that of standard viscose or lyocell. However, the chemical and structural aspects of specialty rayon (bamboo) that make this fiber more prothrombogenic than other cellulosic fibers, such as wood-derived rayon and cotton gauze, are not yet fully understood.
2) Test results revealed that the dual fiber Stasilon® textile bound approximately three times as many red blood cells (RBCs) per unit weight as gauze, and that the RBC binding to the dual fiber matrix is due primarily to the specialty rayon (bamboo) content.
It should also be noted that Stasilon® received clearance by the United States Food and Drug Administration for broad-based use in surgical and emergency medicine in December of 2007 (United States Food and Drug Administration 510(k) number K072890). Based on comparison with existing products and based on data from porcine hemorrhage studies, the FDA cleared Stasilon® with an indication as a hemostatic wound dressing. Subsequent clinical studies with human burn patients validated these findings and also demonstrated unique properties for non-adherence of the textile to the wound bed. Such non-adherence (which minimizes clot disruption and rebleeding upon removal of the device from the wound), is completely unique and is believed to result from the unique interaction of the bamboo rayon component of Stasilon® with RBCs.
We will be bringing you more scientific data on the remarkable qualities of bamboo fiber or “bamboo rayon” as it comes available to us. Whether it’s bamboo bandages or bamboo clothing, it’s important to be accurate so be sure to pass this important data on to everyone you feel has been “bamboozled” by the FTC.
A special thanks to Entegrion for allowing us to publish this information. Please visit Entegrion to learn more about their incredible success in developing products that can literally save someone’s life.
(1) Thomas H. Fischer, John N. Vournakis, James E. Manning, Shane L. McCurdy, Preston B. Rich, Timothy C. Nichols, Christopher M. Scull, Marian G. McCord, Joseph A. Decorta, Peter C. Johnson, and Carr J. Smith (2009). “The design and testing of a dual fiber textile matrix for accelerating surface hemostasis.” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials 91B(1), 381-389. Abstract available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbm.b.31413.