Researchers develop clothes that can monitor and transmit biomedical info on wearers

December 3, 2014
The smart fabric developed at Universite Laval is durable, malleable, and can be woven with cotton or wool. Credit: Stepan Gorgutsa, Universite Laval

Researchers at Université Laval's Faculty of Science and Engineering and Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers have developed smart textiles able to monitor and transmit wearers' biomedical information via wireless or cellular networks. This technological breakthrough, described in a recent article in the scientific journal Sensors, clears a path for a host of new developments for people suffering from chronic diseases, elderly people living alone, and even firemen and police officers.

A team under the supervision of Professor Younès Messaddeq created the smart fabric by successfully superimposing multiple layers of copper, polymers, glass, and silver. "The fiber acts as both sensor and antenna. It is durable but malleable, and can be woven with wool or cotton. And signal quality is comparable to commercial antennas," explained Professor Messaddeq, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Photonic Innovations. The surface of the fiber can also be adjusted to monitor a range of information such as glucose levels, heart rhythm, brain activity, movements, and spatial coordinates.

A patent application has already been filed, though certain elements still need to be fine-tuned before the innovation is ready for commercialization. "Of course, the technology will have to be connected to a wireless network, and there is the issue of power supply to be solved," notes Professor Messaddeq. We have tested a number of solutions, and the results are promising. We will also have to make sure the fabric is robust, and can stand up to chemicals found in laundry detergent."

Explore further: Researchers develop novel method for making electrical cellulose fibers

Related Stories

Wearable antennas for remote monitoring

November 14, 2014

Humans may become walking antennas for remote monitoring and mobile communications − with the help of University of Adelaide research to produce antennas integrated into clothing.

E-textiles get fashion upgrade with memory-storing fiber

September 26, 2011

The integration of electronics into textiles is a burgeoning field of research that may soon enable smart fabrics and wearable electronics. Bringing this technology one step closer to fruition, Jin-Woo Han and Meyya Meyyappan ...

Assessing cotton fiber quality from a tiny sample

October 27, 2014

At a time when there is an uptick in U.S. cotton exports, it's not surprising that the Agricultural Research Service's Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC), located in New Orleans, Louisiana, upgraded its cotton textile ...

New technology can prevent cellular overload, dropped calls

October 11, 2013

When a natural disaster strikes and too many people take to their mobile phones at once, cellular networks easily overload. But a University of British Columbia graduate student has developed a solution to ensure that calls ...

Recommended for you

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.