New ‘smart’ fabrics can monitor your health

January 31, 2017

SFU engineering science professor Bonnie Gray has spent more than five years researching ways to embed a variety of electronic and microfluidic sensors into fabric.

It’s all part of a goal to create smart, flexible, wearable fabrics embedded with devices that can, for example, monitor athletes’ sweat for salt and lactate content, monitor heart rate, or test tears for glucose levels. Skin cancer survivors and others could wear these devices to monitor sun exposure. They could even be used for neonatal infants, eliminating the need to adhere electrodes to the infants’ delicate newborn skin.

Now, Gray has come up with a way to screen-print the devices directly onto fabric and is in discussions with other SFU researchers and local companies about commercializing her novel technology.