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Smart Electronic Textiles

Electronic textile is a new research area that is attracting much attention in the last few years. In the new era of the Internet of Things (IoT) the ability to integrate sensors into textiles and garments opens the way to an endless number of applications that fall under the name of smart electronic textiles (e-textile) and wearable electronics. In this contest, our research is focussed on a broad spectrum of applications: conductive yarns, textile pressure sensors, textile bio-sensors for monitoring biomarkers in sweat, textile Electrodes for monitoring the ElectroCardioGram (ECG).

Textile chemical bio sensors

We develop textile chemical sensors based on Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECT). In a OECT wereable bio sensors  the current flowing in the organic channel can be modulated through the voltage applied to the gate electrode by electrochemical reactions that take place in an body fluid. 

We investigate sensors geometries, electrical characterization, organic materials functionalization and textile sensors fabrication in order to optimized the OECT textile chemical sensors. We demonstrate the reliability of the textile OECTs to detect insweatmany redox active molecules:adrenaline,dopamine,ascorbic acidandCloride ions.  

Textile OECT chemical bio sensors are a novel class of personalized point-of-care devices able to monitor biomarkers in  biofluids (e.g.sweat ) that we implement in the form of fully textile wearable sensors, devices that actually “disappears” within the fabric. Low energy consuption and simple readout allow wireless connections for IoT applications. 

Textile ECG Electrodes

In collaboration with University of Cagliari, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, we developed textile electrodes for ElectroCardioGram (ECG) monitoring. A conductive polymer is deposited by screen printing directly on fabric. Main advantagies of the conductive polymer are the  biocomaptibility and ion-to-electron transduction that allow to obtain dry electrodes for recording ECG, whitout adding electrolytic gels.

We are collaborating with the start-up LETs Wereable Solution s.r.l. to develop a smart T-shirt with textile ECG electrodes for helathcare applications. 

Textile pressure sensors

We develop textile pressure sensors based on conductive polymers.By tuning of the propeties of the conductive polymer and thanks to a dedicated design of the sensor configuration,  we optimize the textile pressure sensors for any specific applications.

The low cost, fast and simple fabrication process based on screen printing allows to easily integrate textile pressure sensors into smart-garments. We are presently developing smart-gloves and smart-cycling shorts monitoring pressure distributions to prevent accidents at workplace or during training activities. 

Recent related articles

Adaptable pressure textile sensors based on a conductive polymer  
Marta Tessarolo, Luca Possanzini, Enrico Gianfranco Campari, Roberta Bonfiglioli, Francesco Saverio Violante, Annalisa Bonfiglio, Beatrice Fraboni, Flexible and Printed Electronics, 2018

Recent Progress in Wearable Fully Textile Chemical Sensors
Marta Tessarolo, Isacco Gualandi, Beatrice Fraboni, Advanced Materials Technologies, 2018, p.1700310

Textile Organic Electrochemical Transistors as a Platform for Wearable Biosensor
Isacco Gualandi, Andrea Achilli, Dario Cavedale, Annalisa Bonfiglio, Beatrice Fraboni, Scientific Reports, 2016, 6, p. 33637 

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Marta Tessarolo

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Beatrice Fraboni

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