2 million for research about the Electrodress suit
The Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) is granting a little over 2 million SEK to a research project involving a suit with textile electronics that stimulate muscle nerves. The research for the project will take place at the University of Borås by the MT3 research group, Medical TexTTronics.
The project, called The Electrodress: Methods for textile electronic unnoticeable integration, which has been granted funds will run for three years. It is a partnership with Inerventions AB and FOV Fabrics, two private companies. Research will be led by Dr. Fernando Seoane and will take place at the School of Engineering and in the technology labs at Smart Textiles.
Progress in the field of textile electronics has made it possible to develop new applications in the fields of personal health and fitness. But when it comes to developing manufacturing processes for different kinds of textile electronic clothes, the business sphere is far behind. Access to consumer products is very low.
But research has shown positive results from electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) on children with diseases with which muscle cramps and spasms are common, for example Cerebral Palsy and MS. The children in question could benefit from a suit to wear for treatment at home. Today, electrodes attached to the body is the most common treatment, but it is both complicated and uncomfortable. A suit with a tight fit and strategic electrodes could facilitate treatment. The electrodress is meant to be a completely seamless construction, and consist of parts that jointly form what looks like a wetsuit for diving.
The goal of the research project is to develop techniques for integrating seamless textile electronics that are suitable for production. Today’s methods for integrating textile electronics are hard to apply to the production techniques that are available, and can only deal with very shallow integration.
The University of Borås is contributing to the project through its expertise in medicinal textile electronics, Inerventions AB is bringing knowledge about EMS treatment to the table through a prototype of Electrodress, and FOV Fabrics is there to provide knowledge about production of technical textiles.
The Electrodress on display
Between the 2ndand the 11thFebruary, the Electrodress will be on display at Gallery KG52 in Stockholm. There will also be other prototypes developed through Smart Textiles.
Last year, Inerventions AB took part in the Swedish version of Dragon’s Den to try to gather economic support to continue the Electrodress project.
FOV Fabrics: A Borås based company specialising in technical textiles and functional textiles. The company is involved with the University of Borås on research projects about smart textiles.
Text: Solveig Klug
Photo: Henrik Bengtsson