Alginate Application in Pharmaceutical and medical
Alginate is often used in the controlled release of medicine drug and other chemicals. In some conditions, the active ingredient is placed in a calcium alginate bead to be slowly released in suitable environment.
Calcium alginate - fibres
Calcium alginate is formed as fibres if a fine spray of sodium alginate solution is forced into a bath of calcium chloride solution. Good quality stable fibres can be produced processed into non-woven fabric, which can be used in wound dressings. That kind of fibres performs good wound healing and haemostatic properties, and can be absorbed by body fluids because the calcium in the fibre is exchanged for sodium from the body fluid to give a soluble sodium alginate. This also makes it easier to move the fibres from wound because it does not adhere to the wound. Saline helps removing the fibre from wound because it ensures the conversion to soluble sodium alginate.
Alginate acid swells when wetted with water. This ability makes it useful as a tablet disintegrant for some specialized applications. Alginic acid can also be used in dietary foods because it swells in stomach and gives a “full” feeling, so the person is dissuaded from further eating.