Incorporating the Intelli-Gel® Integral into our chair cushions to offer very high pressure relief to those at risk of pressure ulcers. Here's the science behind it:
Intelli-Gel® has a soft elastomer, honeycomb structure that contours gently to large surface areas distributing weight evenly. It is the honeycomb columns that when joined together provide the right support and pressure relief. The Intelli-Gel® cradles “hot spots”, providing superior pressure relief, support and stability when seated.
The properties of Intelli-Gel® enable it to retain its core temperature therefore it does not heat up when in use retaining its structure and reducing the susceptibility to tissue breakdown. The material is breathable and moisture does not build up at the skin/cushion interface reducing the propensity for shear stress and abrasion to negatively affect the skin.
Intelli-Gel® is engineered using a technique called column buckling which means that each column can support a certain amount of weight until it buckles redistributing the pressure to surrounding columns. The pressure hotspots get a reduction in pressure which gives the low pressure areas the additional support they need. Intelli-Gel® will adjust to each individual’s needs regardless of weight or body shape.
In-house pressure mapping tests revealed that Intelli-Gel® exhibited superior pressure redistributing qualities in comparison to other static pressure relieving materials including solid and liquid gels, 3D spacer fabric, water cushions, foam and visco-elastic foam combinations of varying densities.
External research at The Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research Lab (REAR) at Georgia Tech University indicated that the Intelli-Gel® cushion provided significant pressure redistribution compared with foam and air-based cushions.
Further external research was undertaken by Fiona Collins of Tissue Viability Consultancy Services Ltd (2009) to ascertain the clinical efficacy of the Intelli-Gel® cushion. This research was conducted on a small group of individuals with some existing pressure damage living at a nursing home. The Intelli-Gel® cushion was used in conjunction with their existing armchair. All the participating subjects’ skin showed significant improvement by day 14 of the trial. This trial indicates that the inclusion of an Intelli-Gel® cushion can have significant impact on not only preventing but assisting in the healing of established pressure damage for extremely vulnerable people. Furthermore, the use of the Intelli-Gel® cushion enabled all of the subjects to sit more comfortably, with an upright and symmetrical posture, for longer.2
The Intelli-Gel® seat modules are an option for those users at high to very high risk of pressure related problems and for those who have pressure ulcers up to Grade II (EPUAP).
2Collins F (2009) Clinical Evaluation of Intelli-Gel® in a Nursing Home.
Intelli-Gel® is protected by US Patents 5749111, 6026527, 6413458, 6797765, 7076822 and other US and International patents pending.