The Elektrodress: Methods for Seamless Textile-Electronic Integration
Advances in the field of textile-electronic integration have made possible novel implementation of several applications in the field of personalized healthcare and fitness. Except in the case of fitness, where the solutions are commercially available, in most of the cases, the object of implementing the application has been just its functional validation. One of the reasons impeding the proliferation of textileelectronic products reaching the market is the lack of manufacturing processes to produce such textile-electronic garments. In fact the commercially available products perform the textile-electronic integration through a simple press-stud. i.e. the textile-electronic is very shallow.
It has been proven that the therapy of Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) for children with muscle spasticity would benefit from the availability of a functional garment with integrated Textrodes, especially in homecare. Such garment would require more than 50 textrodes with their corresponding electrical leads distributed through legs, arms and trunk. Since the end-user wearing the dress is a child suffering a neurological impairment, comfort and looks are important to facilitate its acceptance by the child. Therefore the close the garment is to a regular dress the higher is the likelihood that the child accepts it.
This project is aimed in to developing novel specific methods to enable textile-electronic integration in a way that the final garment, called the Elektrodress, will look as closed as possible to a regular full body suit, 100% textile. The project is specially focused in developing manufacturing techniques to introduce the developed methods for textile-electronic integration into manufacturing processes.