Printing Biometric Sensors on Clothing

July 2, 2010



Last March some UC San Diego researchers published a nice paper called Thick Film textile-based amperometric sensors and biosensors that gets into some of the details of printing biometric sensors on clothing. In this charming video, a UCSD undergraduate prints a sample biometric sensor on fabric. Below is an excerpt from the UCSD press release describing the research, with links to the online version of the paper

San Diego, June 16, 2010 — Chemical
sensors printed directly on elastic underwear waistbands retained their
sensing abilities even after engineers stretched, folded and pulled at
the chemical-sensing printable electrodes – sensors that could one day
be incorporated into intelligent “hospital-on-a-chip” systems. This
work, funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, is led by professor Joseph Wang,
from the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California,
San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. [Wang also based in Atkinson
Hall and sits on the Calit2 Executive Council at UCSD.]

The primary goal of the
new peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Analyst, was to aggressively test the performance of
electrodes printed directly on textiles, something the researchers say
has not been done before. The textile of choice – elastic waistbands of
underwear – highlights one potential application of the
“hospital-on-a-chip” systems the electrodes will be part of: “smart
underwear.” (Watch a
two-minute video in which a UC San Diego undergraduate demonstrates the
electrode printing process
.) 

Thanks to: Davis Masten!

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