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TitleIdentification and caracterization of materials used by diabetic foot patients
Author(s)Abreu, Maria José Araújo Marques
Catarino, André P.
Rebelo, Olga
KeywordsDiabetic foot
Thermal properties
Mechanical properties
Advanced materials
Issue dateApr-2011
Abstract(s)Diabetes is a problem that affects millions of people around the world. One of the most serious problems for diabetics is called diabetic foot, that when neglected, can become dramatic, because in extreme cases, amputation of the foot may occur. In this project we studied several socks, with new materials and diversified knitted structures, focused on socks used by diabetic patients. The identification and characterization of materials and knitted structures of the commercially available socks worldwide were done and to guarantee a better characterization of the socks, thet were divided in three different areas: foot, ankle and leg. After woods was carried out an objective analysis of the seven selected socks, to determine which materials and structures were the most important for a patient with diabetic foot, using statistical tools for this matter. The main finding of this study is that the 100% cotton jersey sock, referred throughout this study as our standard sock, didn´t performs as expected for the studied properties. This finding is important, because this sock is referred as the most recommended sock for a diabetic patient with diabetic foot syndrome. However, it´s noted that the performance is satisfactory in the foot area. Another factor in its favor is its low price, thus becoming a strong competitor to all the other socks studied, including the socks with advanced or high performance fibers. Therefore, those socks that had the best performance in terms of the studied properties were those with acrylic fiber, Polyester Coolmax ® and Polypropylene. This finding reinforces the idea that actually there are other alternatives in terms of new fibers with high performance for this type of product. Also the knitted structures with which the socks were knitted had a mayor contribution, since the socks in jersey and plush had the best results in terms of properties, particularly the friction coefficient, water vapour permeability, air permeability and thermal conductivity and thermal resistance. An interesting idea that resulted from this research was the need for classification of diabetic socks in two types: Socks recommended for the spring-summer: they are knitted in jersey structure and have a low mass per unit length for the threads; Socks recommended for the autumn-winter: they are knitted in plush structure and have a high mass per unit length for the threads. This kind of classification should be included on the diabetic sock labels in order to elucidate “consumers” - diabetic patients and prevent improper use of these socks. Therefore, the textile sector can and should contribute to a better quality of life of diabetic patients, particularly with diabetic foot, applying their knowledge in terms of raw materials and level of variation and combination of different knitted structures.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:DET/2C2T - Comunicações em congressos internacionais com arbitragem científica

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