Hydrogel dressings use a hydrogel pad in contact with the wound. The gel is mostly water, in a hydrophilic polymer matrix. They are designed to keep the wound slightly moist, releasing water or absorbing exudate. In a slightly moist environment, rodent skin heals faster than in a dry environment, from both cuts and partial-thickness burns. There exists little evidence comparing hydrogel dressing to other advanced dressings in humans.[needs update]
Polymers used in hydrogels include chitosan, dextran, alginate/gelatin and collagen/glycosaminoglycan. Other materials include custom polypeptides, and blends such as chitosan/sodium alginate/poly(vinyl acetate).
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