Areas of Expertise

Electronic textiles, or e-textiles, have started to cross over from idea to reality in recent years. Though efforts to embed electronics into clothing began as early as the beginning of the 20th century, it is only in the past two decades that advances in materials and manufacturing techniques have made the production of commercial e-textile products possible.

At the Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF), we offer a complete pathway from idea to product through our unique expertise in material and manufacturing techniques, in addition to the marketing service you can rely on. Our inhouse team will support you from the day one of your idea, work through the design and fabrication of medical textile products, to the potential markets in which your product can stand out.

We have the complete manufacturing capability to produce smart textiles through either:

  • A standard flexible PCB approach to seamlessly and invisibly integrate electronic functionality into textiles
  • Bespoke printing approach to integrate the electronic functionality within textile.

We also have strong expertise in electronics, in particular sensors, actuators, RF and embedded systems, allowing product realisation within the shortest possible timeframe.

Unique Solutions for your Business

R&D

  • Feasibility studies
  • Technology surveys
  • Literature and patent surveys
  • Product design and development
  • Testing against ASTM, AATCC and ISO standards

Manufacturing

  • Conventional screen printing
  • Digital functional printing including inkjet, dispenser, 3D
  • Functional material development

Case Studies

Case study 1:

A wearable ‘sticker’ is being developed at MTIF which will attach to patients to detect changes in breathing rate and patterns and act as an early warning sensor for declining health. The project will create a wearable sensor capable of continuously, accurately and remotely monitoring respiration. It is hoped that work will be made possible with almost £1million of funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – and will enable faster, more effective treatment to help save patients’ lives. The system, which will be low cost and mass manufacturable, will also display a patient’s profile history of respiration rate, to enable longer-term trends to be monitored. The wearable respiratory device could also be worn by patients, or even healthy people, who live at home.

Case study 2:

A ‘breakthrough’ smart textile arm sleeve will use electrical stimulation to reduce swelling and discomfort for patients with lymphoedema. MTIF is leading the project to create the garment, which will be an ‘effective, unobtrusive and easy-to-use’ treatment for patients in their own home. The new sleeve will be a highly-breathable fabric with seamlessly integrated and flexible printed circuits and electrodes. The sleeve, which can be adapted to fit different patients and would be durable and washable – will increase circulation of the lymphatic system, the network of channels and glands which work to remove excess fluid in the body. The project will develop technology for the arm initially before being adapted for other parts of the body such as leg, chest, face and neck.

SMART MEDICAL TEXTILES CONTACT FORM

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