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15 April 2011 Printable low-cost sensor systems for healthcare smart textiles
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Smart textiles-based wearable health monitoring systems (ST-HMS) have been presented as elegant solutions to the requirements of individuals across a wide range of ages. They can be used to monitor young or elderly recuperating /convalescent patients either in hospital or at home, or they can be used by young athletes to monitor important physiological parameters to better design their training or fitness program. Business and academic interests, all over the world, have fueled a great deal of work in the development of this technology since 1990. However, two important impediments to the development of ST-HMS are:-integration of flexible electrodes, flexible sensors, signal conditioning circuits and data logging or wireless transmission devices into a seamless garment and a means to mass manufacture the same, while keeping the costs low. Roll-to-roll printing and screen printing are two low cost methods for large scale manufacturing on flexible substrates and can be extended to textiles as well. These two methods are, currently, best suited for planar structures. The sensors, integrated with wireless telemetry, facilitate development of a ST-HMS that allows for unobtrusive health monitoring. In this paper, we present our results with planar screen printable sensors based on conductive inks which can be used to monitor EKG, abdominal respiration effort, blood pressure, pulse rate and body temperature. The sensor systems were calibrated, and tested for sensitivity, reliability and robustness to ensure reuse after washing cycles.
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Pratyush Rai, Prashanth S. Kumar, Sechang Oh, Hyeokjun Kwon, Gyanesh N. Mathur, and Vijay K. Varadan "Printable low-cost sensor systems for healthcare smart textiles", Proc. SPIE 7980, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2011, 79800E (15 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880600;

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