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Super-smart textiles to monitor remote health

Sep 28, 2021
Super-smart textiles to monitor remote health

Dr Ishara Dharmasena has been appointed a Research Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop the new technology for the next five years. He will make these electronically-active clothing from textile yarns that capture energy from body movements and generate electricity using very small power generators known as 'Triboelectric Nanogenerators' (TENGs).

Absorbing the movement from the body, these super-smart textiles will not only power electronic components, but also act as self-powered functional sensors that are able to accurately sense the movements of targeted body parts. This futuristic textile system will then wirelessly communicate the data to a mobile device - resulting in a highly efficient, durable, light-weight, wearable, low-cost rehabilitation monitoring product.

The global population recently reached 7.8 billion, among which almost 15% suffer from disabilities mainly caused by aging and chronic diseases. Lack of infrastructure and trained professionals in rehabilitation is a worldwide issue that has been intensified by the ongoing pandemic and, as a result, healthcare access has been significantly reduced.

There is a requirement of new methods that can gather inexpensive and accurate data on physiological parameters. Existing motion detection techniques have numerous drawbacks, including limited range, restricted mobility (due to bulky, rigid components), high-cost, and the need of replacing/recharging batteries.

Dr Dharmasena hopes to have two fully-functioning smart textile demonstrators at the end of the project: the first being a tight-fitting T-shirt/base layer, and the second being a bandage that can be worn like a normal support bandage. His research will receive input and support from a variety of industry partners plus academics across the School of MEME.

Source: News Medical Life Sciences

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