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 New material could advance superconductivity
28.07.2016 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Dirty to drinkable
27.07.2016 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neue Bildgebungsmethode macht Sauerstoffgehalt in Gewebe sichtbar

Wie blickt man in den menschlichen Körper, ohne zu operieren? Die Suche nach neuen Lösungen ist nach wie vor eine wichtige Aufgabe der Medizinforschung. Eine der großen Herausforderungen auf diesem Feld ist es, Sauerstoff in Gewebe sichtbar zu machen. Ein Team um Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Biologische Bildgebung an der Technischen Universität München (TUM) und Direktor des Instituts für Biologische und Medizinische Bildgebung am Helmholtz Zentrum München, hat dazu einen neuen Ansatz entwickelt.

Einen Königsweg, um den Sauerstoffgehalt in Gewebe sichtbar zu machen, schien es bislang nicht zu geben. Viele unterschiedliche Verfahren wurden ausprobiert,...

Im Focus: Wie biologische Vielfalt das Ohr fit macht

Göttinger Hörforschung mit neuen Erkenntnissen: Das Ohr setzt Synapsen mit verschiedenen Eigenschaften ein, um unterschiedlich lauten Schall zu verarbeiten. Forschungsergebnisse veröffentlicht in der Fachzeitschrift „Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences“

Der menschliche Hörsinn verarbeitet einen immensen Bereich an Lautstärken. Wie schafft es das Ohr, etwa über eine Million Schalldruck-Variationen zu...

Im Focus: Ultrakompakter Photodetektor

Der Datenverkehr wächst weltweit. Glasfaserkabel transportieren die Informationen mit Lichtgeschwindigkeit über weite Entfernungen. An ihrem Ziel müssen die optischen Signale jedoch in elektrische Signale gewandelt werden, um im Computer verarbeitet zu werden. Forscher am KIT haben einen neuartigen Photodetektor entwickelt, dessen geringer Platzbedarf neue Maßstäbe setzt: Das Bauteil weist eine Grundfläche von weniger als einem Millionstel Quadratmillimeter auf, ohne die Datenübertragungsrate zu beeinträchtigen, wie sie im Fachmagazin Optica nun berichten. (DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.3.000741)

Die neuentwickelten Photodetektoren, die weltweit kleinsten Photodetektoren für die optische Datenübertragung, eröffnen die Möglichkeit, durch integrierte...

Im Focus: Self-assembling nano inks form conductive and transparent grids during imprint

Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.

To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...

Im Focus: Neues Forschungsnetzwerk für Mikrobiomforschung

Mikroben und Viren haben weitreichenden Einfluss auf die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier. Die neu gegründete "Austrian Microbiome Initiative" (AMICI) fördert die nationale Mikrobiomforschung und vernetzt MedizinerInnen und ForscherInnen verschiedenster Fachrichtungen zur Nutzung von Synergien.

Bakterien, Archaeen, Pilze, Viren – Milliarden von Mikroorganismen leben in Symbiose in und auf Menschen und Tieren. Diese mikroskopisch kleinen Lebewesen...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

BAuA lädt zur Konferenz „Arbeiten im Büro der Zukunft“ ein

29.07.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Fachkongress zu additiven Fertigungsverfahren am 14. und 15. September in Aachen

28.07.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Rheumatologen tagen in Frankfurt: Mehr Forschung für Rheuma gefordert

28.07.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Forschung gibt Impulse für Innovationen

29.07.2016 | Förderungen Preise

Molekulare Störenfriede statt Antibiotika? Wie Proteine Kommunikation zwischen Bakterien verhindern

29.07.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Internationales Forscherteam deckt grundlegende Eigenschaften des Spin-Seebeck-Effekts auf

29.07.2016 | Physik Astronomie