Protecting Patients & Healthcare’s Frontline

When it comes to medical safety, fibres, nonwovens and advanced play a pivotal role in shielding healthcare professionals and patients alike. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products are essential for creating safer working environments and can include surgical and respirator facemasks, surgical gowns, drapes and wraps, shoe and head covers, hand protection, scrubs, and full-body protective suits.

NIRI is at the forefront of medical PPE innovation and supports the entire textile supply chain – from raw materials suppliers to brands exploiting their final functional products. We collaborate closely with industry partners, harnessing our deep knowledge of medical needs to develop the next generation of PPE products. Discover how we help companies develop cutting-edge innovations that are setting new standards in protection and performance -shaping the future of medical safety.

Understanding the Influences Shaping the Future of Medical PPE

The global medical PPE market was valued at 20.4 billion USD in 2022 and is expected to rise to 28.8 billion USD by 2030, at a CAGR of 4.4% [1].

Key Drivers of Market Growth

Rising Awareness of Healthcare Associated Infections [1]

PPE usage to prevent spread of pathogens and disease in becoming more understood and put as a higher priority both in healthcare and medical environments as well as within other areas of daily life [2].

COVID-19 Pandemic & Global Health Events [1]

Large outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a massive increase in demand for PPE products to protect healthcare workers, patients in healthcare settings, and the rest of society.

Technological Advancements in PPE

Innovations in the PPE sector are continually occurring, with developments in performance, such as the incorporation of antimicrobials, nanofiber membranes, and increased longevity, as well as advances in user comfort, such as improved breathability, better fit, and lightweighting [3].

Stricter Government Regulations

Most government and regulatory agencies now mandate that suitable PPE be provided to employees who may be exposed to risk at work. This includes PPE used by workers in the healthcare and medical sector who interact directly with patients [2,4].

Rising Healthcare Expenditure

Improved healthcare, especially in developing countries, is making PPE usage more accessible in medical and healthcare settings across the world.

Dr. Ross Ward, NIRI CCO

Transforming the PPE sector with NIRI

NIRI is a global leader in developing sustainable materials, fibres, fabrics and products and has significant experience developing PPE products, and the broader medical sector. With an advanced overview and insight into the sector and application, NIRI has defined key areas for development and improvement:



NIRI can develop PPE with improved breathability, comfort in different environmental temperatures and humidity, and better fit, such as adjustable fittings and ergonomic designs, to enhance comfort and ensure the product’s safety [3].


Improved Performance

NIRI has developed solutions for advancing PPE, including improving filtration efficiency against airborne particles and longevity of face masks, providing better protection to users from fluids, particulates and aerosols in surgical gowns and drapes, and providing barrier properties alongside breathability.



Reducing the weight of PPE can enhance comfort and cost-efficiency by lowering raw material and processing costs, all while maintaining high product performance standards​​.


Improved Sustainability

NIRI continually explores sustainable options for PPE and medical products. We develop environmentally friendly products, including biobased, compostable or biodegradable materials, fully recycled or recyclable products, durable and reusable options, and methods to improve production efficiency or reduce energy consumption​​.


Infection Prevention

NIRI enhances PPE products with improved antimicrobial properties by incorporating agents or materials that introduce self-disinfection, germ-killing, or germ-capturing functionalities​​.


Smart Technologies

NIRI supports clients with integrating smart functionalities within PPE, such as wearable biosensors to monitor patient health, sensors to measure temperature and humidity, and RFID tags for efficient PPE inventory management​​.


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