The Black Sheep Pub
247 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
“Creating Smart Textiles”
Wearable technology is poised to explode in the next decade. As flexible electronic devices have begun to be incorporated into clothing, there are pressing needs to develop sustainable digital fabrication techniques and functional materials to create smart textiles that could can response environmental changes and embed personal health information.
Here, I will present our work on fabrication of polymer fibers and meter-long yarns with embedded chemical receptors and selective wettability, which can be knitted, embroidered or weaved into wearable prototypes. By control of surface chemistry of the fibers, we demonstrate selective wettability of the yarns, which wicks aqueous solutions, and change colors in response to humidity, pH, and electrolytes. By selective embedding of functional yarns into different geometries, we create multi-sensors and “blooming” flowers that can response to UV light intensity, temperatures, and electrical fields.