Biomedical smart fabric wearable devices
The aim of the project is to integrate flexible magnetic-based sensing technologies into textiles to create wearable sensor endowed fabrics.
This project is advertised as part of the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. It is currently not available to self-funded applicants. Find out more information about the DTP including how to apply.
Monitoring vitals such as heart rate and muscle movement is common practice for patients based in hospital, however, some conditions are sporadic and occur during daily life away from immediate medical care. One particular area of concern is in the detection of seizures for patients with epilepsy. According to the NHS in 2015, epilepsy is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people in the UK, whereby repeated seizures is the most physically severe symptom of the condition due to the violent bodily movements. With smart wearable technology on the rise, a number of sensors exist for the detection of seizures including mattress and watch based devices which can alert family or friends. In this project, we propose to develop magnetic-based flexible sensor webs capable of detecting muscle motion, with an overarching goal to fabricate clothes which can detect seizure episodes. Amorphous magnetic material can take various forms including film, ribbon and wire making them ideal for incorporation into woven fabric. They are magnetostrictive, leading to a sensitive change in magnetic properties under applied stress.
The PhD work will explore ways of combining amorphous magnetic materials into fibres and yarns to create unique textiles capable of monitoring physical parameters such as motion, pressure, impact force and deformation. The work will begin by focussing on fabrication techniques, followed by magnetic characterization of the fibres and ending with textile development and testing. By the end of the project, the student will have developed a new magnetic yarn and demonstrated its utility as a sensing fabric for clothes that epilepsy patients can wear.