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Most medical disorders are treated in phases that involve inhibition, acute care, rehabilitation, and ongoing support. Smart textiles have a responsibility in each of these stages of disease medication and prevention. Fabric sensors can be easily inserted into clothing and linked using conductive threads through embroidery, knitting or weaving processes. In the case of illness, smart clothing can help the medical society by offering a more complete image of the health of their patients and enabling remote monitoring to minimize clinical calls. A smart garment in rehabilitation can help the patient in taking an active role in his or her healing and prevent future relapses. Smart textiles may have therapeutic functions in the future, providing a variable and adjustable way of treatment. 

Advanced materials for pressure sensors

Textile pressure sensor development is challenging for researchers trying to generate scientific advances in biomedical monitoring (motion, pulse, gate and respiration) or robotics (artificial electronic skins for robots). The versatile embroidering of textile materials, technologies with polymers, advanced micro/nanostructured composites and digitalization (software and microelectronics) generate innovative wearable products. This chapter presents the main aspects concerning the materials used and technologies for resistive and capacitive sensors development.

Pressure sensors applications


Smart fabrics research represents a new model for developing innovative and creative solutions for the integration of electronics into atypical surroundings and it will lead to new scientific breakthroughs. The ability to combine textile and electronics fabrication technologies to functionalize large-area surfaces at rapid rates is a fundamental motivation for smart textiles research. In this chapter, we overview the history of smart textile development and introducing the main trends in this field. Finally, we provide our outlook for the field and a prediction for the future. 

History of smart textile development

This historical overview of smart textiles will provide the reader with a better understanding of the evolution. Textile innovation 27,000 years ago could be disputed as humanity's first material invention [1]. The knitting frame, invented by William Lee in 1589 [2], the flying shuttle, invented by John Kay in 1733, and the spinning jenny, invented by James Hargreaves about 1765 [3], were all major inventions that transformed society and laid the groundwork for the first industrial revolution. The usage of illuminated headbands in the ballet La Farandole in 1883 was one of the first examples of smart textiles [4]. Electronic textiles are divided into three generations depending on the integration of electronics in textiles: putting electronics or circuitry on a garment (first generation), functional fabrics like sensors and switches (second generation), and functional yarns (third generation) [5]. Figure 1 depicts the evolution of E-textiles as a timeline.



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[2] Lewis P. William Lee’s stocking frame: technical evolution and economic viability 1589-1750. Text Hist 1986;17:129–47. https://doi.org/10.1179/004049686793700890.

[3] Thackeray FW, Findling JE. Events that Changed Great Britain Since 1689. Annotated. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group; 2002.

[4] Guler SD, Gannon M, Sicchio K. A Brief History of Wearables. Crafting Wearables, Apress, Berkeley, CA; 2016, p. 3–10. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-1808-2_1.

[5] Hughes-Riley T, Dias T, Cork C. A historical review of the development of electronic textiles. Fibers 2018;6. https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020034.

[6] Fishlock D. Doctor volts [Electrotherapy]. IEE Rev 2001;47:23–8. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1049/ir:20010304.

[7] Thorp EO. The invention of the first wearable computer. 2nd Int. Symp. Wearable Comput., 1998, p. 4–8. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISWC.1998.729523.

[8] Park S, Mackenzie K, Jayaraman S. The wearable motherboard: A framework for personalized mobile information processing (PMIP). Proc - Des Autom Conf 2002:170–4. https://doi.org/10.1145/513918.513961.

[9] Eichinger GF, Baumann K, Martin T, Jones M. Using a PCB layout tool to create embroidered circuits. Proc - Int Symp Wearable Comput ISWC 2007:105–6. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISWC.2007.4373789.

[10] Post ER, Orth M, Gershenfeld N, Russo PR. E-broidery: Design and fabrication of textile-based computing. IBM Syst J 2000;39:840–60.

[11] Meyer J, Lukowicz P, Tröster G. Textile pressure sensor for muscle activity and motion detection. Proc - Int Symp Wearable Comput ISWC 2006:69–74. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISWC.2006.286346.

[12] Eleksen Developing Fabric Keyboard for RIM BlackBerry 2006. https://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=6303.

[13] Jakubas A, Lada-Tondyra E, Nowak M. Textile sensors used in smart clothing to monitor the vital functions of young children. Prog Appl Electr Eng 2017:5–8. https://doi.org/10.1109/PAEE.2017.8008989.

[14] LIlypad Embroidery 2008. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bekathwia/2426457410/in/photostream/.

[15] Bonderover E, Wagner S. A woven inverter circuit for e-textile applications. IEEE Electron Device Lett 2004;25:295–7. https://doi.org/10.1109/LED.2004.826537.

[16] A History of Smart Fabric 2016. https://medium.com/@LoomiaCo/tale-2-a-history-of-e-textiles-and-conductive-fabrics-dbe9c4a0cb03.

[17] H2020 projects about “textiles” 2020. https://www.fabiodisconzi.com/open-h2020/per-topic/textiles/list/index.html.

Creative methods for co-design of the smart textile product.

Sensors integration into Military PPE products