Puritan utilizes a wide variety of quality swab handle materials for different applications. These include wood, medical grade resins such as polystyrene and polypropylene, paper, aluminum and more.
Created with the patient in mind, many of our swab handles are ergonomically designed for ease of use and patient comfort. Customization is also available if you require a special color, certain break point, tip size or shape. Custom printing on the handle is also available.
Puritan is known for using (or developing) the finest materials in order to provide the highest-quality products in the market today. Following are descriptions of many — but not all — of the materials we use in swabs for healthcare, diagnostics, forensics, critical manufacturing, and food processing.
Flocking refers to a process of applying short fibers to an adhesive-coated surface, which turns the swab into a velvet-like brush. Puritan's HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® lines offer higher absorption capacity compared with conventional swabs. Designed for diagnostic applications, the unique microstructure and exclusive proprietary multi-length fibers of our flocked swabs enhance rapid absorption and complete elution of biological specimens. The fibers are precisely placed around the tip of the handle. There is no inner fabric or other core to reabsorb the specimen. This is especially important when you’re dealing with the sampling of small or elusive specimens. See our flocked swabs.
Medical-grade polyurethane foam has been found to be an excellent tip material for diagnostics. Foam is produced in sheet form in a range of porosity. Common configuration for use in tipped applicators is 100 ppi (pores per inch). Puritan specifies the thickness, width, and porosity of the material purchased from a US manufacturer for use in our medical devices. Other properties are specified as needed, such as absorbency (hydrophilic being very absorbent and hydrophobic being nonabsorbent), open or closed cell, conductive or electrostatic dissipative, or even colored. Your intended use dictates which foam characteristics will work best. For example, we use polyethylene foam for chemical-resistant swabs. See our foam swabs.
We use US pharmaceutical-grade spun cotton fiber, standard for applicators used in everything from basic patient care to crime scene investigation. Very absorbent, soft, low cost, and safe, cotton-tipped applicators perform consistently and reliably. Puritan purchases only the finest grade USP cotton in bales. We then card the fiber to our specifications to assure consistent quality for your specific use. See our cotton swabs.
Fabric-tipped applicators provide cleaning tools that introduce the least amount of contaminants to your process. These tips, made from a woven polyester fabric, are commonly constructed without soluble adhesives. This assures the cleanliness of process required for your critical environment. Puritan sources fabric directly for these specialty products so they fit our exacting specification. See our knitted polyester swabs.
Polyester is a synthetic spun fiber made from a polymer. Originally introduced into the realm of medical diagnostics by DuPont under the brand name Dacron®, it is now manufactured by others and no longer carries a brand name. Polyester fiber has been tested and validated for use in specimen collection in microbiology, rapid test diagnostics, and PCR analysis. This material has excellent collection and release properties and, while somewhat more costly than cotton or rayon, is not absorbent and has superior release properties. Puritan purchases only the finest-grade spun-polyester fiber in bales, and we card the fiber ourselves. See our polyester swabs.
Unlike most man-made fibers, rayon is not a synthetic. It’s a spun fiber made from wood pulp. Much like cotton, rayon is predictably soft and absorbent and an economical choice for many applications where cotton would not be suitable. It is widely used for specimen collection. While produced from natural material, the manufacturing process eliminates any components that may damage the specimen or interfere with transport and/or processing. Puritan purchases only the finest-grade spun rayon fiber in bales, and we card the fiber ourselves to assure quality that’s up to Puritan standards. See our rayon swabs.
Calcium alginate is an organic material used to make our Calgiswab® applicators. It is derived from seaweed. Calcium alginate contains no fatty acids that may be inhibitory to many strains of gonorrhea. In addition, the alginate fibers are slowly dissolved by body fluids and tissues, and any fibers that remain after testing will quickly be eliminated. Puritan offers Calgiswab® swabs in a variety of tip sizes, handle materials, and dimensions. See our calcium alginate swabs.