Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 28

Our soft-circuit
systems can be used
when standard PCBs
aren't up to the task.
MADISON MAXEY

LOOMIA TECHNOLOGIES INC.

This opens up an array of opportunities,
such as providing lighting for people
running or biking at night, or heating for
jackets, gloves and other outdoor gear,
or offering these capabilities (along with
sensing) to vehicles, or for medical and
wellness wearables, says Maxey.
These actions are delivered via the
LOOMIA Electronic Layer (LEL), a
scalable, multi-axis flex e-textile circuitry
solution that can go where traditional
circuit boards can't, providing companies
seeking to develop electronics in highmotion areas or across curved surfaces
with flexible, conformal circuitry. The LEL
connects to a power source. For example,
for a heating jacket, the garment would
plug into a power bank that would sit in
the jacket pocket.
"I was working on making wearable
technology prototypes for companies and
realized they're very hard to scale," says
Maxey, explaining the inspiration behind

The LOOMIA "playmats," one of which is shown here, are used to demonstrate the
LOOMIA Electronic Layer (LEL) technology and its capabilities. This playmat has
captive touch-sensing, lighting and heating. Photo: LOOMIA Technologies Inc.

28 REVIEW FEBRUARY 2020

the technology's development. "I thought
that maybe I could make a product that
would help with the hardest part of scaling
these products-the e-textile."
Three years of research went into
building the technology, an effort
involving the Stanford Nano Shared
Facilities (SNSF) lab, used for analysis
and characterization, as well as Eastprint,
LOOMIA's e-textile integration/
manufacturing partner. The LEL has three
granted patents.
"This has been very exciting for us,"
says Maxey. "It's great to know we've
developed a technology that is truly novel.
The LEL has been available in this form
since the beginning of 2019, and we've
already developed new functionalities-
user interface buttons, controls and haptic
feedback-that will launch this year."
ENCAPSULATING
PROBIOTIC BACTERIA
Apparel designer Rosie Broadhead
specializes in biomaterials for the fashion
industry. A recent MA Material Futures
graduate from Central Saint Martins in
London, Broadhead has a background in
menswear and sportswear R&D. Currently,
the London-based Broadhead is involved
in a probiotic clothing research project.
Dubbed "Skin II" and undertaken in
collaboration with microbiologist Dr.
Chris Callewaert, a skin microbiome
expert and a senior postdoctorial research
fellow at Ghent University in Belgium,
the project considers the advantages of
encapsulating probiotic bacteria into
clothing while exploring the natural
biological function of the skin and its
interaction with everyday clothing.
"Our skin's biome is shaped by our
natural environment, and what we put on
and next to our skin has a direct impact
on our bodies," Broadhead explains.
"Cosmetic products and fabric finishes on
clothing can contain toxic chemicals that
disrupt the diversity of bacteria living on



Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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