Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Stretchy electronics moves closer - PolyU’s wearable sensing technology

09.11.2012
Researchers from the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at PolyU have developed a new technology that allows electronics to drape around our body comfortably. The researchers have engineered a new fabric that can conduct electricity, paving the way for stretchable electronics.

Sensors and other electronics are usually made of rigid and stiff material such as metals and plastics. They cannot be stretched, twisted or thrown, and should be handled with care.


Smart Footwear installed with Fabric Sensors

But that is about to change. Researchers from the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at PolyU have developed a new technology that allows electronics to drape around our body comfortably. Defying our imagination, the researchers have engineered a new fabric that can conduct electricity, paving the way for stretchable electronics.

The pressure sensitive fabric is made of flexible polymers and nano-carbon materials. Through advanced fabrication process, conductive nano-carbon materials were laced onto polymer to create a thin layer that can transfer electricity. When stretched or pressed, the thickness of this layer changes, which leads to a change in the electric current and the resistance. The fabric will react to a pull or compression with an increase in resistance so that strain and pressure can be measured.

To transform this novel idea into reality, Prof. Xiaoming Tao and her team have to overcome a challenge: a loss of conductivity under a high degree of deformation. Employing novel textile engineering techniques, they have developed a highly conductive polymer that can withstand significant stretching. This material is also highly sensitive and reliable for touch sensing. Principal investigator Prof. Tao explained, “Our new fabric can be stretched like a rubber band and has high sensitivity to strain. We’ve also made another one that can withstand and respond to very high pressure up to 2000kPa. They are water-proof, washable and excellent in resistance to fatigue.”

In the future, pressure sensors can be bent and stretched. More importantly, the flexible material is soft, light and breathable, and therefore is well tolerated by human skins. As it will work better and longer on human body, it opens up new possibilities for health care and medical applications such as wearable health monitoring devices. For example, a stretchy fabric sensor can measure intensive body movements and then send information wirelessly to a computer. Such electronics can adapt to any bent and moving body parts for health monitoring or remote control.

This novel technology has been applied and presented as a pair of smart shoes for round-the-clock health watch without a single wire or electrode on a person. Fellow researcher Dr Aaron Wang illustrated, “The pressure-sensitive fabric is made into a touch sensor in the shape of a sole. When fitted into the shoes, the sensor can detect when an elderly falls over and then send alerts or track down a missing person with dementia when he is out and about.” The research team is anticipating a future where medical devices can integrate seamlessly into the human body to track a patient’s vital signs and transmit the signals to his/her doctor.

Dr Wang suggested more innovative possibilities in entertainment business, “Our stretchable sensors will be useful in fabric push buttons, game controllers and dance pads. Computer games will be more fun and edgy than ever.”

“Our ultimate goal is to develop a deformable system integrated with computer power, wireless technologies and environmental power sources, which I believe will have a profound impact on telemedicine, health care delivery and sports training,” said Prof. Tao.

This breakthrough was licensed to a start-up called AdvanPro Limited for further development and production. The University is keen in putting laboratory science into good use and in fact this company was set up by the researchers with the support from the Micro-fund program organized by the University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship . In pursuit of knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship, the Institute is dedicated to give professional services and coordination support to help the aspiring entrepreneurs transform PolyU’s innovations into applications which can make the world a better place.
Associated links
http://www.polyu.edu.hk/ife/corp/en/publications/tech_front.php?tfid=3141

Wilfred Lai | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.polyu.edu.hk/ife/corp/en/publications/tech_front.php?tfid=3141
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Lowering the Heat Makes New Materials Possible While Saving Energy
26.09.2016 | Penn State Materials Research Institute

nachricht Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices
26.09.2016 | Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Forscher entwickeln quantenphotonischen Schaltkreis mit elektrischer Lichtquelle

Optische Quantenrechner könnten die Computertechnologie revolutionieren. Forschern um Wolfram Pernice von der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster sowie Ralph Krupke, Manfred Kappes und Carsten Rockstuhl vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie ist es nun gelungen, einen quantenoptischen Versuchsaufbau auf einem Chip zu platzieren. Damit haben sie eine Voraussetzung erfüllt, um photonische Schaltkreise für optische Quantencomputer nutzbar machen zu können.

Ob für eine abhörsichere Datenverschlüsselung, die ultraschnelle Berechnung riesiger Datenmengen oder die sogenannte Quantensimulation, mit der hochkomplexe...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: Quantenboost für künstliche Intelligenz

Intelligente Maschinen, die selbständig lernen, gelten als Zukunftstrend. Forscher der Universität Innsbruck und des Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland, USA, loten nun in der Fachzeitschrift Physical Review Letters aus, wie Quantentechnologien dabei helfen können, die Methoden des maschinellen Lernens weiter zu verbessern.

In selbstfahrenden Autos, IBM's Watson oder Google's AlphaGo sind Computerprogramme am Werk, die aus Erfahrungen lernen können. Solche Maschinen werden im Zuge...

Im Focus: Synthese-chemischer Meilenstein: Neues Ferrocenium-Molekül entdeckt

Wissenschaftler der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) haben zusammen mit Kollegen der Freien Universität Berlin ein neues Molekül entdeckt: Die Eisenverbindung in der seltenen Oxidationsstufe +4 gehört zu den Ferrocenen und ist äußerst schwierig zu synthetisieren.

Metallocene werden umgangssprachlich auch als Sandwichverbindungen bezeichnet. Sie bestehen aus zwei organischen ringförmigen Verbindungen, den...

Im Focus: Neue Entwicklungen in der Asphären-Messtechnik

Kompetenzzentrum Ultrapräzise Oberflächenbearbeitung (CC UPOB) lädt zum Expertentreffen im März 2017 ein

Ob in Weltraumteleskopen, deren Optiken trotz großer Abmessungen nanometergenau gefertigt sein müssen, in Handykameras oder in Endoskopen − Asphären kommen in...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Laser für Neurochirurgie und Biofabrikation - LaserForum 2016 thematisiert Medizintechnik

27.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Ist Vergessen die Zukunft?

27.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Von der Probe zum digitalen Modell - MikroskopieTrends ´16

26.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Nanotechnologie für Energie-Materialien: Elektroden wie Blattadern

27.09.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Ultradünne Membranen aus Graphen

27.09.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Ein magnetischer Antrieb für Mikroroboter

27.09.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie