Saturday, August 8, 2020

Harvard’s transformative robotic fabric could lead to therapeutic clothing

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To eliminate the need for an external machine, they wove silver conductive electronic wires into the material they used for STATs. The wires serve as a heating element and a sensor for intelligent tissue, allowing the temperature and pressure changes necessary to pass the phase of the Novec 7000 from liquid to vapor and vice versa. The study’s co-first author, Christopher Payne, explained:

“With a built-in ‘closed loop feedback’ controller, STATs maintain pressure autonomously even when placed in environments where the outside temperature fluctuates, such as near an air tube that actively cools the system . “

The researchers said they could make the fabric in bulk and with arbitrary geometries, which gives it a lot of potential applications. It could be used in mechano-therapeutic portable clothing which could put pressure on wounds and speed up tissue repair, for example. It could also be used in reactive cushions to help prevent bed and wheelchair sores, and perhaps even in creating dynamic clothing for avant-garde fashion shows.

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