Development in Smart Textile Market: Researchers Created Caro Nanotube Fibers that can Precisely Predict the EKG and Heart Rate in Users
Posted On September 23, 2021
Smart textiles refer to materials that can provide added value to their users in monitoring their wearers' health. They contain digital components, such as a battery or light, and are also embedded with electronics.
The sector has advanced further with a new study demonstrating how flexible carbon nanotube fibers can be woven into clothing apparel and gather precise EKG (Electrocardiogram) and heart rate. The team employed their conductive nanotube threat to introduce functionality into standard clothes. The research could potentially revolutionize the Smart Textile Market as the fibers used are conductive akin to metal wires while also being washable and comfortable to wear. They're also less prone to break when the body moves, making them more practical than wearables.
Overall, the shirt enhanced by the team is highly efficient at gathering data compared to a traditional chest-strap monitor, as it could be noted taking live measurements during experiments. When the stats were matched with commercial medical electrode monitors, it was found that the novel carbon nanotube shirt gave better EKGs.
The researchers discovered that nanotube fibers are soft and flexible, and when incorporated into clothes, they are also machine washable. The fibres can be machine-sewn into fabric in the same way that regular thread can. Because of the zigzag stitching pattern, the cloth may expand without breaking.
The fibres maintained constant electrical contact with the wearer's skin and served as electrodes for connecting electronics like Bluetooth transmitters to relay data to a smartphone or link to a Holter monitor that may be carried in a user's pocket.
The team added that zigzag patterns could be adjusted according to how much any fabric is likely to stretch. Fibers woven have several applications, according to researchers, including embedded antennas or LEDs. Few changes to the fabrics and related electronics could even enable clothing to monitor respiratory rate, vital signs, force exertion, etc.
Other potential uses of the development also involve human-machine interfaces for soft robotics and automobiles. It could also be used as a health monitor or antennas and provide ballistic protection in military uniforms. Researchers are highly optimistic that in two decades, these materials will have hundreds of applications all over the globe. This is because the fibers provide the correct combination of contact with the skin, softness, conductivity, biocompatibility, and carbon nanotube threads.
To enhance the amount of surface area in touch with the skin, the team hopes to use denser patches of carbon nanotube threads in the near future.