Functional adaptable and smart materials enable innovative applications, products and designs. The Fraunhofer ISC presents its competence in wearable and flexible technology for medical devices and technical textiles at the IDTechEX, Santa Clara (USA) from 18th to 19th November 2015.
Elastic sensors integrated in textiles
A new class of mechanical sensors is especially suitable for integration into woven or knitted fabrics because of their high elasticity and their soft and flexible characteristics. These dielectric elastomer sensors (DES) can be integrated into the textile by bonding or sewing, and can be used to measure deformations, forces and pressures.
Very high strains up to 100 % and more can be achieved. DES consists of a very elastic elastomer film coated with highly flexible electrodes on both sides. By patterning the electrodes on the elastomer film an array of many elements can be built up.
The textile-integrated sensors are washable, show a high wearing comfort and are reasonable in price. Silicone rubber is the preferred basic material for the elastomer film and through chemical cross-linking offers a broad variability of hardness. As a result, the material can be adapted to the specific requirements of the sensor.
Versatile applications for medical and training purposes
The textile-integrated elastomer sensors are applicable in medical devices e.g. for preventing bedsores or for localizing the pressure distribution in shoes. They can also support personal training by measuring the posture via the clothes or as an input device for game and fitness device controlling.
The textile form is very variable – if it’s a stocking, glove or shirt – as the sensors are stretchable and easy to process. Beyond that DES improve industrial safety, e.g. of human-machine interfaces in collision detection systems.
Three-dimensional pressure readings for diabetics
At the IDTechEx, Fraunhofer ISC shows a novel kind of pressure stocking developed together with Fraunhofer IIS: It protects diabetics against wounding via an integrated sensor system that sends a warning signal when pressure in the shoe is locally too high. As diabetics often have little feeling in their feet they don’t perceive pressure or temperature signals.
This can result in unnoticed wounds that then may develop into abscesses. Therefore, many diabetics have to have toes or feet amputated. In total, 40 very fine, dielectric elastomer sensors measure compression load and distribution in the stocking. They are attached to the stocking’s sole, the heel, the top and the ankle, in order to achieve a three-dimensional reading. Existing systems measure the pressure distribution only on the bottom of the foot using shoe inserts.
If a patient stands in one spot for an extended period, pressure will rise. The sensors recognize this rise and transmit the measurement signal via a conductive thread to a low cost wireless electronic unit. The application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip collects the measurement data from 40 capacitive sensors and the controller transmits the data wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet e.g. to advise the diabetes patient to change foot position or weight distribution.
Fraunhofer ISC has submitted this project for an IDTechEx Award 2015.
Flexible, light and thin – further developments
Apart from the textile-integrated sensors, Fraunhofer ISC presents its expertise in printed electronics, 3D printing, thin film batteries, and multifunctional barrier coatings for flexible films.
Attendees can meet the experts of Fraunhofer ISC at booth P21 at the IDTechEX, Santa Clara (USA).
Marie-Luise Righi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage
30.03.2017 | The Optical Society
A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes
28.03.2017 | Technische Universität Braunschweig
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering