A Quick Overview of Different Types of Biological Sample Collection Swabs
A medical swab, referred to as a specimen collection swab, is used to collect biological samples from the human body. Also, it allows for the safe transport and preservation of the collected sample. Medical swabs are part of everyday life for an individual working in the healthcare sector. Therefore, it’s crucial always to have the right swab available from the right specimen management expert for the job. This article enlists different types of the leading sample collection swab option on the market.
Types of Tips
A specimen collection swab is made of two main components: the tip and the stem. The tip of the medical swabs is made of different materials classifying the sample collection swabs into different types. Here listed are different types of biological sample collection swabs:
- Flocked Swab
The flocked swab is designed to collect as many cells as possible from the patient, even when there is only a small area to swab. Polyester fibers, along with a flocked design, help healthcare professionals achieve impressive results and perform testing for many different reasons.
- Foam Swab
The absorptive nature of the foam makes foam swabs a particularly qualified option for collecting specific types of specimens. For instance, liquid samples can be easily collected with the help of foam swabs. In addition, several tip sizes are available so foam swabs can be tailored perfectly to collect samples.
- Cotton Swab
It is usually the first tip material that people think of when it comes to medical swabs. While newer, high-tech materials are being used for medical swabs, there is still room for standard tip material, i.e., cotton. Now that cotton tips are soft; cotton swabs are particularly great options for swabbing the inside of the mouth.
- Rayon Swab
One can also find medical swabs made up of rayon, and healthcare professionals use rayon tips in many cases that would call for cotton swabs. One of the attractive features of a rayon swab is that it offers many of the same performance benefits as a cotton swab and is much more cost-effective.
While the stem of the swab doesn’t help collect the specimen, it helps healthcare professionals access the testing site. The sample collecting swab stem is also made of different materials such as wood, aluminum, polystyrene, or any other material chosen according to the sampling point. For instance, the stem of a flocked swab is usually made of polystyrene. On the other hand, a wood stem is used for swabbing the area where flexibility is not required.
The specimen collection swab head or tips can be either made of natural fibers like cotton or inorganic and inert fibers like flocked, polyester, or viscose fibers. In addition, the stem of a medical swab is also made of different materials like wood, polystyrene, or aluminum. Each material offers different characteristics, so it is the duty of a healthcare professional to assess them based on their intended use and choose them accordingly. For instance, a flocked fiber-headed medical swab is usually suitable for swabbing liquid samples, and a cotton fiber-headed medical swab is ideal for swabbing soft body areas.