Sweat can provide a lot of information about a person's health. One of the current trends in wearable technology is to incorporate sweat sensing mechanisms into garments. However, clothing and accessories, such as technical T-shirts or handbands, are subject to a lot of tear-and-wear, which could damage delicate sensory fibers made of conventional polymers or silica.
A group of South Korean engineers has come up with a self-healable fabric for making highly-durable sweat sensors. The macromolecule-based polymer is made out of citric acid, succinic acid, and 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (a precursor of polyesters), and it's capable of self-healing through hydrogen bonding.
They incorporated the self-healing polymer fiber into a headband-bound sweat sensor, which is capable of transmitting wireless signals. A tester then wore the garment while exercising on a stationary bike. The sensor not only successfully sent out data about the test subject's sodium and potassium ion level, but also demonstrated almost complete recovery from a scissor cut within 30 seconds.
The researchers are hoping that their innovative material could create immediate impacts through its implementation in personalized healthcare applications.
This exciting study is reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Source: ACS via Youtube