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Ohio State University Researchers are Working with Smart Fabrics

The ElectroScience Laboratory at the Ohio State University is working with a material that can potentially revolutionize the use and implementation of smart fabrics into clothing. The technique is called 'Antenna Embroidery.' Each thread consists of bundles of twisted metal-coated polymer filaments. The resulting electricity-conducting e-thread can be fed into an embroidery machine and thus, added to garments. Due to their flexible nature, the e-thread antennas can be combined with complex designs — such as company logos, as well as be added to very thin textiles.

The e-threads can be connected to sensors and batteries, providing functional smart fabrics that are incredibly useful for wearable developers. The researchers have tested the embroidery-infused antennas and have been able to create "smart hats that read deep brain signals for patients with Parkinson's or epilepsy," for example. This venture into smart fabrics is definitely beneficial, when it comes to monitoring a patient's health.