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Mar 27, 2017Print this page

HydraFlock: The Superior Flocked Swab


There’s no question that flocked swabs have revolutionized specimen collection.

What’s a flocked swab, you ask? A quick Google search will call up this definition:

Specimen collection device with tufts of polyester material attached to the end of a plastic shaft; used to collect specimens of bacterial and viral pathogens.  

Though accurate, the description doesn't exactly paint a vivid picture. Here's a (much!) closer look:


Clearly, this is not your average cotton swab.

Modern Microbiology Demands a Flocked Swab

Cotton certainly has its place, but the original swab tip invented in 1920 needed to improve as industries like microbiology and diagnostics advanced over the years

Initially, rayon was considered a better material for microbiology work. Then, spun polyester was introduced and quickly replaced the cotton and rayon fibers that were reluctant to release specimens. Foam came next but was not considered suitable for all applications. 

The search was still on for a tipped applicator that would be patient-friendly and deliver the best collection and release properties that could be devised.

Flock Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Flocked swabs first hit the market when Copan released FLOQSwabs™ (made with nylon fibers) in 2003. A lot has changed since then.

Puritan's HydraFlock® swabs, introduced in 2011, feature significant improvements in both materials and construction. We won't bore you with all the details, but HydraFlock swabs are composed of a “fiber-within-fiber” design, with pores that facilitate greater sample absorption, retention, and faster release. Our unique flocking process results in split ends that provide even greater surface area for sample retention and friction for faster sample disruption and collection.

Looking for an unbiased opinion? Independent studies have confirmed the superiority of HydraFlock's collection and release properties to FLOQwabs

HydraFlock's Widespread Success

Years ago, Puritan’s talented engineering staff and forward-thinking Executive VP, Timothy Templet, envisioned the possibilities of improved design and expanded markets for flocked swabs. Once in the hands of diagnosticians, it was clear Timothy was spot on; acceptance was swift and the news spread.  

Now, HydraFlock swabs are found in public health organizations, commercial agriculture, crime labs here and abroad, and are offered as self-test products by those that serve the personal health market.

To address the varied needs of labs and OEMs, HydraFlock swabs are available in various configurations, differing in tip dimension, shaft diameter, break point, and transport options. They are even available coupled with transport media.  

Perhaps most importantly, HydraFlock is the optimal specimen collection device for human diagnostics. Again and again, HydraFlock has met the challenge of time-sensitive response to infectious disease outbreaks both in the U.S. and overseas.

HydraFlock could be the perfect tool for your industry. Interested in learning more or acquiring samples? Our sales specialists are here to help.



Topics: Flocked Swabs


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