3D stretchable strip could spark new possibilities for wearable e-textiles

3D stretchable strip could spark new possibilities for wearable e-textiles

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

Researchers have developed a novel 3D stretchable electronic strip which is expected to open up a range of new possibilities in wearable electronic textiles

A team at Nottingham Trent University’s Medical Technologies Innovation Facility has led the work, which has paved the way for a new generation of electronic devices which could be embedded in clothing for possible use in health care and elite sports settings.

The research, which also involved industry partner Kymira Ltd, is published in Scientific Reports.

The researchers argue that the new strip has significant benefits and functionality over existing technologies due to its ability to stretch and bend with the body.

The strip’s 3D structure, whereby the circuitry is twisted to form a helical ribbon, transforms it from flexible to stretchable with the ability to bend in multiple directions—rather than just one—and stretch up to at least half its initial size.

Stretchability is considered important because many textiles are stretchable, such as medical compression garments or sportswear, where clothing must not restrict the wearer’s movement.

The researchers demonstrated LED and temperature sensing helical e-strips as part of the study. A rubber cord supports the structure and helps to prevent damage from buckling and consideration was given to compatibility with clothing and washability.

“We have been able to show the potential for a new form of 3D helical strip for embedded electronics in e-textiles,” said Dr. Yang Wei, an expert in electronic textiles and electronic engineering at Nottingham Trent University and the principal investigator of the research.

Source Techexplore

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