In a new development, MIT researchers have developed a way for commercial electronic parts such as electronic sensors to embed within stretchy fabrics. This includes shirts or other garments that could be used to observe vital signs such as respiration, temperature, and heart rate.
These garments, embedded with sensor, are machine washable, and can be customized to fit close to touch the body of the person wearing them. With the development of such fabric, researchers envision that the fabric could find use to monitor people who are ill, either at home or in hospital. The garment could also find use for monitor of vital signs of athletes or astronauts.
“With this development, commercially available electronic parts or customized lab-made electronics can be embedded within textiles that are of everyday use,” stated an expert at MIT. The plus is these garments are customizable. Owing to this, these garments can be made for anyone for whom physical data of the body like temperature, respiration rate, and so forth are required.
Alternate Garments Available require Fastening to Body
Meanwhile, some other research groups have developed thin, skin-like patches. These patches can measure temperature and other vital signs, but need to be attached to the skin. On the other hand, the team at MIT sought to create garments that are worn on an everyday basis, using stretch fabric to embed removable electronic sensor within the same.
Furthermore, the textile created by MIT researchers is not electrically functional. Rather, the textile is only a passive element of the garment created so as to enable individuals to wear the devices comfortably and conformably for everyday use. The primary goal of researchers at MIT is to measure physical activity of the body with respect to respiration, temperature, acceleration, all of the same body part, without requiring fastening.