UWE Bristol researchers introduce fabric that monitors heart rate

Researchers from the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) at the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol have successfully created a prototype of a straightforward piece of fabric that, when wrapped around the wrist, can measure heart rate. The fabric can be worn and washed at least ten times without losing its monitoring ability. Dr. Shaila Afroj, a senior research fellow, is in charge of the study group.

In a news release, UWE Bristol stated that the team’s objective is to create wearable clothing, such as a T-shirt, that is unobtrusive to the patient and can be used in hospitals or at home to enable health data to be monitored remotely and continually.

In terms of creating the “textiles of the future,” we have made great progress. Think about a COVID patient. person is alone at home and wearing a plain printed T-shirt that continuously records heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature, according to senior research fellow Dr. Shaila Afroj. “The technology within the T-shirt, which is unnoticeable to the wearer, sends the results to their smart phone, sounding an alarm if their vital signs fall outside of a normal range, and then notifies their GP or a medical monitoring service.”

The CFPR team is making use of graphene’s benefits, a revolutionary new material with amazing thermal and electrical conductivity, great elasticity, strength, light weight, and transparency. They create their own graphene from scratch so that they can customise it to make it the greatest potential candidate for sensing applications, and they decide against using commonly used solvents, which are acknowledged to be carcinogenic and hazardous to both people and the environment.

The team digitally fabricates conductive graphene tracks on textile substrates using inkjet printing, which theoretically produces 10 picoliters of tiny material drops on demand while using the least amount of water.

The next prototypes will have features for body temperature and oxygen saturation, according to Dr. Afroj.

“This is an exciting advancement in this field of study; it has contributed priceless knowledge as we advance this technology. These wearable e-textiles could be used to monitor senior patients’ health as well as post-surgery patients, newborns and young children, hospital triage patients, and patients. Additionally, it might make asymptomatic and presymptomatic COVID-19 patients easier to detect in the early stages, potentially lowering the community transmission via remote monitoring of infectious diseases,” Dr Afroj added.



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