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Researchers Turn Linen Threads into Transistors for Wearables #WearableWednesday

Poster medical thread

Via FastCompany

A new breakthrough out of Tufts University, just published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, could fast-forward us into a new era of wearable electronics that are woven like clothing, and even might be sewn into our skin and organs to track our health.

The scientists developed a transistor out of linen thread. That means the thread can transfer electricity like an insulated wire, be turned on and off instantaneously like a processor, and connect a network of sensors on or inside your body.

“Some of the flexible electronics are basically, they just take the same hard electronics and try to pin them down—they place them on a flexible polymer and they call it flexible elections,” says Sameer Sonkusale, the principal director at the Nano Lab at Tufts who led the research. “It’s a great idea! And it does work. We were looking at it from a different angle, to make things inherently flexible. It took a while for us to realize that threads are extremely flexible substrates, so why don’t we make circuits on them?”

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