Fully Integrated Embroidery Process for Smart Textiles

I.G. Trindade, P. Spranger, F. Martins, R. Miguel, M. Pereira, M. Santos Silva
Universidade da Beira Interior, PT

Keywords: textile sensors, embrodery, process and integration


In this article, a compact textile system produced with a single embroidery digital machine and high design and integration versatility is presented. Clothing integrating textile electrodes made by seamless knitting has been proposed to monitor vital signals but require hydrogel membranes for adequate performance [1]. The embroidery technique has great versatility for e-textiles [2] and was used to produce electrodes for neonatal intensive care EEG monitoring [3]. Textile electrodes and respective interconnect plate were fully produced with a 6-head digital embroidery machine, using the applique function. The electrode part of the sensor was made with embroidery patterns providing two types of textures, addressing sense of comfort by the user and sensor location stability. The textile sensors were exposed to normalized washing tests and exhibited very good washing resistance. EKG waveforms were obtained by connecting each pair of sensors to the differential input of a data acquisition module controlled by a PC/USB interface and a Labview program and had the SNR analyzed with Matlab. The quantitative analysis and preliminary data obtained in ambulatory with a chest band integrating the interconnect plate with four textile electrodes and a holter on obese elder cardiovascular patients indicated equivalent performance to those standardly obtained.