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 “Seeing” molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics
03.08.2015 | Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University

nachricht Controlling phase changes in solids
29.07.2015 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Kosten sparen beim Bau von Flugzeugturbinen

Verdichterscheiben für Flugzeugturbinen werden aus einem Materialstück herausgefräst. Bei der Bearbeitung fangen die Schaufeln an zu schwingen. Ein neuartiges Spannsystem steigert die Dämpfung der Schaufeln nun auf mehr als das 400-fache. Es lassen sich bis zu 5000 Euro Kosten bei der Fertigung einsparen.

Mal eben schnell in den Urlaub jetten oder für ein langes Wochenende nach Rom, Paris oder Madrid fliegen? Der Flugverkehr steigt, insbesondere der...

Im Focus: Gletscher verlieren mehr Eis als je zuvor

Der Gletscherschwund im ersten Jahrzehnt des 21. Jahrhunderts erreicht einen historischen Rekordwert seit Messbeginn. Das Schmelzen der Gletscher ist ein globales Phänomen und selbst ohne weiteren Klimawandel werden sie zusätzlich an Eis verlieren. Dies belegt die neueste Studie des World Glacier Monitoring Services unter der Leitung der Universität Zürich.

Seit über 120 Jahren sammelt der World Glacier Monitoring Service, mit heutigem Sitz an der Universität Zürich, weltweite Daten zu Gletscherveränderungen....

Im Focus: Glaciers melt faster than ever

Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...

Im Focus: Gefangen in Ruhelosigkeit

Mit ultrakalten Atomen lässt sich ein neuer Materiezustand beobachten, in dem das System nicht ins thermische Gleichgewicht kommt.

Was passiert, wenn man kaltes und heißes Wasser mischt? Nach einer Weile ist das Wasser lauwarm – das System hat ein neues thermisches Gleichgewicht erreicht....

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Tagung "Intelligente Beschichtungen für Außenanwendungen" in Dresden

03.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

MS Wissenschaft in Stuttgart: Fraunhofer zeigt Chancen im Ländle auf

03.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Türme und Maste aus Stahl – Neues aus Forschung und Anwendung

31.07.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Tagung "Intelligente Beschichtungen für Außenanwendungen" in Dresden

03.08.2015 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

HDT-Seminar Grundlagen der Prozessleittechnik für Einsteiger

03.08.2015 | Seminare Workshops

HDT-Seminar: Druckbehälter nach EN 13445 – Allgemeine Anforderungen, Werkstoffe, Herstellung, Inspektion und Prüfung

03.08.2015 | Seminare Workshops