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Special Issue "Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Wearables".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2022 | Viewed by 9117

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Savvas Vassiliadis
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Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of West Attica, Aigaleo, Greece
Interests: multifunctional materials; texmultifunctional materials; textile mechanics; e-textiles; digital systemstile mechanics; e-textiles; digital systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue of the Sensors journal dedicated to “E-Textiles” aims to present the latest advancements and developments in this dynamicaly growing and extremely multidisciplinary field. Mainly in the last decade, step by step, electronic parts and systems integrated on the textile substrates of clothes for specific applications have been replaced by fibrous devices. Textile-based electrical and electronic elements and systems contribute to the creation of reliable and sustainable wearable systems. Multifunctional textile materials can operate as sensors, transmission lines, energy-harvesting devices, actuators, communication elements, antennas, etc. At the same time, the mechanical properties of textile materials and structures, as well as the comfort, washability, and care, must be maintained and preserved.

“E-Textiles” combine the common research activities of textile, electrical, electronic, and systems engineers as well as of chemists, physicists, and materials scientists from individual elements up to the integrated systems and interface level. The applicability of individual aspects is of high interest, since e-textiles are by definition problem-solving and quality of life improvement devices.

This “E-Textiles” Special Issue will form a dynamic space for dissemination and networking as well as for future research shaping.

I would like to invite specialists in the field to contribute with their research papers and review articles in this highly promising publication activity.

Dr. Savvas Vassiliadis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Electronic textiles
  • Multifunctional textile materials
  • Textile sensors
  • Textile electrical and electronics components

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Development and Characterization of Embroidery-Based Textile Electrodes for Surface EMG Detection
Sensors 2022, 22(13), 4746; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s22134746 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 267
Abstract
The interest in wearable devices has expanded to measurement devices for building IoT-based mobile healthcare systems and sensing bio-signal data through clothing. Surface electromyography, called sEMG, is one of the most popular bio-signals that can be applied to health monitoring systems. In general, [...] Read more.
The interest in wearable devices has expanded to measurement devices for building IoT-based mobile healthcare systems and sensing bio-signal data through clothing. Surface electromyography, called sEMG, is one of the most popular bio-signals that can be applied to health monitoring systems. In general, gel-based (Ag/AgCl) electrodes are mainly used, but there are problems, such as skin irritation due to long-time wearing, deterioration of adhesion to the skin due to moisture or sweat, and low applicability to clothes. Hence, research on dry electrodes as a replacement is increasing. Accordingly, in this study, a textile-based electrode was produced with a range of electrode shapes, and areas were embroidered with conductive yarn using an embroidery technique in the clothing manufacturing process. The electrode was applied to EMG smart clothing for fitness, and the EMG signal detection performance was analyzed. The electrode shape was manufactured using the circle and wave type. The wave-type electrode was more morphologically stable than the circle-type electrode by up to 30% strain, and the electrode shape was maintained as the embroidered area increased. Skin-electrode impedance analysis confirmed that the embroidered area with conductive yarn affected the skin contact area, and the impedance decreased with increasing area. For sEMG performance analysis, the rectus femoris was selected as a target muscle, and the sEMG parameters were analyzed. The wave-type sample showed higher EMG signal strength than the circle-type. In particular, the electrode with three lines showed better performance than the fill-type electrode. These performances operated without noise, even with a commercial device. Therefore, it is expected to be applicable to the manufacture of electromyography smart clothing based on embroidered electrodes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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Article
Smart Textiles for Improved Quality of Life and Cognitive Assessment
Sensors 2021, 21(23), 8008; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s21238008 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Smart textiles can be used as innovative solutions to amuse, meaningfully engage, comfort, entertain, stimulate, and to overall improve the quality of life for people living in care homes with dementia or its precursor mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This concept paper presents a [...] Read more.
Smart textiles can be used as innovative solutions to amuse, meaningfully engage, comfort, entertain, stimulate, and to overall improve the quality of life for people living in care homes with dementia or its precursor mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This concept paper presents a smart textile prototype to both entertain and monitor/assess the behavior of the relevant clients. The prototype includes physical computing components for music playing and simple interaction, but additionally games and data logging systems, to determine baselines of activity and interaction. Using microelectronics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and capacitive touch sensors woven into a fabric, the study demonstrates the kinds of augmentations possible over the normal manipulation of the traditional non-smart activity apron by incorporating light and sound effects as feedback when patients interact with different regions of the textile. A data logging system will record the patient’s behavioral patterns. This would include the location, frequency, and time of the patient’s activities within the different textile areas. The textile will be placed across the laps of the resident, which they then play with, permitting the development of a behavioral profile through the gamification of cognitive tests. This concept paper outlines the development of a prototype sensor system and highlights the challenges related to its use in a care home setting. The research implements a wide range of functionality through a novel architecture involving loosely coupling and concentrating artifacts on the top layer and technology on the bottom layer. Components in a loosely coupled system can be replaced with alternative implementations that provide the same services, and so this gives the solution the best flexibility. The literature shows that existing architectures that are strongly coupled result in difficulties modeling different individuals without incurring significant costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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Article
Piezo-Resistive Properties of Bio-Based Sensor Yarn Made with Sisal Fibre
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 4083; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s21124083 - 14 Jun 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
In this work, a sensor yarn based on a natural sisal yarn containing a non-electro-conductive core impregnated with PVA polymer and coated by PEDOT:PSS polymer as an electro-conductive sheath was investigated. The main objectives include the development of this new sensor yarn as [...] Read more.
In this work, a sensor yarn based on a natural sisal yarn containing a non-electro-conductive core impregnated with PVA polymer and coated by PEDOT:PSS polymer as an electro-conductive sheath was investigated. The main objectives include the development of this new sensor yarn as a first step. Then, we look towards the insertion of this sensor yarn into different woven structures followed by the monitoring of the mechanical behaviour of composite materials made with these fibrous reinforcements. The combined effect of the structural geometry and the number of PEDOT:PSS coating layers on the properties of the sensor yarns was investigated. It was found that the number of PEDOT:PSS coating layers could strongly influence the electromechanical behaviours of the sensor yarns. Different methods of characterization were employed on strain-sensor yarns with two and four coating layers of PEDOT:PSS. The piezo-resistive strain-sensor properties of these selected coating layers were evaluated. Cyclic stretching-releasing tests were also performed to investigate the dynamic strain-sensing behavior. The obtained results indicated that gauge factor values can be extracted in three strain regions for two and four coating layers, respectively. Moreover, these strain-sensor yarns showed accurate and stable sensor responses under cyclic conditions. Furthers works are in progress to investigate the mechanism behind these first results of these sisal fibre-based sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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Article
Carbonized Cotton Fabric-Based Flexible Capacitive Pressure Sensor Using a Porous Dielectric Layer with Tilted Air Gaps
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3895; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s21113895 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1431
Abstract
Flexible and wearable pressure sensors have attracted significant attention owing to their roles in healthcare monitoring and human–machine interfaces. In this study, we introduce a wide-range, highly sensitive, stable, reversible, and biocompatible pressure sensor based on a porous Ecoflex with tilted air-gap-structured and [...] Read more.
Flexible and wearable pressure sensors have attracted significant attention owing to their roles in healthcare monitoring and human–machine interfaces. In this study, we introduce a wide-range, highly sensitive, stable, reversible, and biocompatible pressure sensor based on a porous Ecoflex with tilted air-gap-structured and carbonized cotton fabric (CCF) electrodes. The knitted structure of electrodes demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed sensor in enhancing the pressure-sensing performance in comparison to a woven structure due to the inherent properties of naturally generated space. In addition, the presence of tilted air gaps in the porous elastomer provided high deformability, thereby significantly improving the sensor sensitivity compared to other dielectric structures that have no or vertical air gaps. The combination of knitted CCF electrodes and the porous dielectric with tilted air gaps achieved a sensitivity of 24.5 × 10−3 kPa−1 at 100 kPa, along with a wide detection range (1 MPa). It is also noteworthy that this novel method is low-cost, facile, scalable, and ecofriendly. Finally, the proposed sensor integrated into a smart glove detected human motions of grasping water cups, thus demonstrating its potential applications in wearable electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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Communication
Multi-Point Flexible Temperature Sensor Array and Thermoelectric Generator Made from Copper-Coated Textiles
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3742; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s21113742 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
The integration of electrical functionality into flexible textile structures requires the development of new concepts for flexible conductive material. Conductive and flexible thin films can be generated on non-conductive textile materials by electroless metal deposition. By electroless copper deposition on lyocell-type cellulose fabrics, [...] Read more.
The integration of electrical functionality into flexible textile structures requires the development of new concepts for flexible conductive material. Conductive and flexible thin films can be generated on non-conductive textile materials by electroless metal deposition. By electroless copper deposition on lyocell-type cellulose fabrics, thin conductive layers with a thickness of approximately 260 nm were prepared. The total copper content of a textile fabric was analyzed to be 147 mg per g of fabric, so that the textile character of the material remains unchanged, which includes, for example, the flexibility and bendability. The flexible material could be used to manufacture a thermoelectric sensor array and generator. This approach enables the formation of a sensor textile with a large number of individual sensors and, at the same time, a reduction in the number of electrical connections, since the conductive textile serves as a common conductive line for all sensors. In combination with aluminum, thermoelectric coefficients of 3–4 µV/K were obtained, which are comparable with copper/aluminum foil and bulk material. Thermoelectric generators, consisting of six junctions using the same material combinations, led to electric output voltages of 0.4 mV for both setups at a temperature difference of 71 K. The results demonstrate the potential of electroless deposition for the production of thin-film-coated flexible textiles, and represent a key technology to achieve the direct integration of electrical sensors and conductors in non-conductive material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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Review

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Review
Smart Textiles and Sensorized Garments for Physiological Monitoring: A Review of Available Solutions and Techniques
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 814; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/s21030814 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3573
Abstract
Several wearable devices for physiological and activity monitoring are found on the market, but most of them only allow spot measurements. However, the continuous detection of physiological parameters without any constriction in time or space would be useful in several fields such as [...] Read more.
Several wearable devices for physiological and activity monitoring are found on the market, but most of them only allow spot measurements. However, the continuous detection of physiological parameters without any constriction in time or space would be useful in several fields such as healthcare, fitness, and work. This can be achieved with the application of textile technologies for sensorized garments, where the sensors are completely embedded in the fabric. The complete integration of sensors in the fabric leads to several manufacturing techniques that allow dealing with both the technological challenges entailed by the physiological parameters under investigation, and the basic requirements of a garment such as perspiration, washability, and comfort. This review is intended to provide a detailed description of the textile technologies in terms of materials and manufacturing processes employed in the production of sensorized fabrics. The focus is pointed at the technical challenges and the advanced solutions introduced with respect to conventional sensors for recording different physiological parameters, and some interesting textile implementations for the acquisition of biopotentials, respiratory parameters, temperature and sweat are proposed. In the last section, an overview of the main garments on the market is depicted, also exploring some relevant projects under development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Textiles and Innovative Wearables)
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