Smart Fabric Monitors Joint Motion
A smart fabric that senses motion could help patients with injured joints heal more quickly.
Developed by a team from Dartmouth University to replace the bulky and expensive equipment currently used to monitor joint movement, the smart fabric has been embedded with a thin, conductive silver layer. It is worn on the joints, where the fabric will stretch during movements and transmit data on skin deformation and pressure to a micro-controller. In tests on volunteers, the monitor was able to detect even subtle joint movements with a low error rate.
The fabric is also very affordable, and could have a wide range of uses. According to Dartmouth PhD student Qijia Shao, “For less than the price of some sweatshirts, doctors and coaches can have access to a smart-fabric sensing system that could help them improve athletic performance or quality of life.”
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