Researchers at The Ohio State University have reached a milestone in their work to develop wearable electronics: They are able to embroider circuits into fabric with 0.1 mm precision—the perfect size to integrate electronic components such as sensors and computer memory devices into clothing.
With this advance, Ohio State takes the next step toward the design of functional textiles—clothes that gather, store, or transmit digital information. With further development, the technology could lead to shirts that act as antennas for your smart phone or tablet, workout clothes that monitor your fitness level, sports equipment that monitors athletes’ performance, a bandage that tells your doctor how well the tissue beneath it is healing—or even a flexible fabric cap that senses activity in the brain.
Watch as Ohio State ElectroScience Laboratory Director John Volakis and research scientist Asimina Kiourti discuss the technology and its potential.
“A revolution is happening in the textile industry,” said Volakis, who is also the Roy & Lois Chope Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ohio State. “We believe that functional textiles are an enabling technology for communications and sensing—and one day even medical applications like imaging and health monitoring.”
Recently, he and Kiourti refined their patented fabrication method to create prototype wearables at a fraction of the cost and in half the time as they could only two years ago. With new patents pending, they published the new results in the journal IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters.
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Learn more about The Ohio State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering here: https://ece.osu.edu
Video and editing by: Ryan Horns, Ohio State ECE Public Relations Coordinator