Specialty Fabrics Review April 2022 - 10

[ BRIEFS ] swatches
LEFT: Professors Chi Hwan Lee (right) and Laurent
Cou√ętil (left) chat while observing a cardiac,
respiratory and muscular test on a horse via
Bluetooth technology at Purdue University's College
of Veterinary Medicine.
ABOVE: A closer look at the specially designed preprogrammed
patterns of sensors on the inside of a
horse slicker designed for remote health monitoring.
Photos: Purdue University by Rebecca McElhoe
Bluetooth-enabled slicker
makes good horse sense
A
new study by Purdue University engineers
and veterinarians explores how to convert
off-the-shelf horse slickers into e-textiles that
continuously monitor equine cardiac, respiratory
and muscular systems over time under ambulatory
conditions. The horse slicker with a specially
designed liner could be able to alert the horse's
human caregivers of increasing chronic diseases.
To add the e-textile capabilities to the slicker, the
Purdue team developed a dual regime spray and
technique to directly embed a pre-programmed
pattern of functional nanomaterials into the
slicker's fabrics. The e-textile was connected to
a separate portable unit that shared vital signs
to a laptop via Bluetooth.
Using the e-textile means that veterinarians
and their support staff won't have to shave the
horse's hair or use messy adhesives to place the
electrode on the horse's skin, which makes it
more comfortable for the horse.
Chi Hwan Lee, the Leslie A. Geddes associate
professor in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical
Engineering, says continual monitoring through
10 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / April 2022
the e-textile patterns can be useful for long-term
management of chronic health conditions in large
animals and eventually humans. Lee also has a
joint appointment in the School of Mechanical
Engineering and a courtesy appointment in the
School of Materials Engineering.
According to Lee, adding e-textile properties
to existing garments helps scientists, researchers
and clinicians take advantage of garments' alreadyexisting
ergonomic designs to secure a commercial
grade of wearability, comfortability, air permeability
and machine washability.
" These specially designed e-textiles can
comfortably fit to the body of humans or large
animals under ambulatory conditions to collect biosignals
from the skin such as heart activity from the
chest, muscle activity from the limbs, respiration rate
from the abdomen or other vital signs in an extremely
slight manner, " Lee says. " Our technology will
significantly extend the utility of e-textiles into
many applications in clinical settings. "
The research team plans to carry the technology
over to clothing made for humans.

Specialty Fabrics Review April 2022

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