Medical textiles are an exciting idea that has a potential to significantly improve people’s lives. The use of textiles for medical purposes has a long history, and they are still used in the healthcare industry today. Traditionally, the textile industry was confined to the production of fibers and fabrics; modern technology allows the applications of textiles to expand. Recently, important developments have been made in enhancing the capabilities of textiles to respond to environmental stimuli. These textiles are called smart textiles; they possess the properties of conventional textiles and also carry additional functional values.
Smart textiles correspond with a wide area of products, as well as studies, that enhance the usefulness and functionality of conventional fabrics by using woven or non-woven structures that connect with the environment or users. The structures have a capability to sense the environmental conditions.
There are multiple kinds of smart textiles that are used nowadays, one of them being E-textiles, or electronic textiles. E-textiles include smart health monitoring devices and sensors within clothing that sense and record the basic bodily functions like body temperature, respiration, the functioning of a heart, etc. The data collected by the sensors is then transmitted to healthcare centers or hospitals. Fiber optic technology is widely incorporated in smart textiles in the form of sensors. Fiber optic sensors are used due to multiple advantages that they present, like low zero drift, large bandwidth, flexibility, good accuracy, immunity to electromagnetic interference, etc. Over the years fiber optic sensors have also become cheap and easily accessible.
Different fiber Bragg grating sensors are used in a variety of smart fabrics. Some of the FBG sensors that are used in smart fabrics include:
- Stretch-sensitive sensors;
FBG strain sensors are used for monitoring and sensing body parameters. The sensors are used for determining respiration, movement, blood pressure, heart rate.
- Temperature sensing;
FBG temperature sensors provide temperature monitoring on skin surfaces
as well as the near-body environment. These sensors are often incorporated in combat clothing.
- Sensing harness;
FBG strain sensors and FBG displacement sensors are placed to measure abdominal and thoracic movements caused due to breathing activity without corrupting signals or overlapping signals.
Optromix, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for global market, based in Cambridge, MA. Our team always strives to provide the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for our clients. Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) products line: fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. We create and supply a broad variety of top-notch fiber optic solutions for monitoring of various facilities all over the world.