A revolutionary pair of men’s briefs are not just comfortable to wear but may also save lives as well. An electronic biosensor is printed on the waistband and measures blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs through constant contact with the skin.
The technology was developed by nano-engineering Professor Joseph Wang of University of California San Diego.
He said stresses of everyday wear such as folding or stretching did not affect the performance of the sensor.
It is hoped the intelligent textiles will allow patients to be monitored at home rather than at hospital, cutting medical costs.
The method, outlined in The Royal Society of Chemistry journal, is similar to conventional screen-printing although the ink contains carbon electrodes.
The project is being funded by the U.S. military will first benefit American soldiers.
Professor Wang said: ‘This specific project involves monitoring the injury of soldiers during battlefield surgery and the goal is to develop minimally invasive sensors that can locate, in the field, and identify the type of injury.’
Ultimately, the biosensor that detects an injury will also be able to direct the release of drugs to relieve pain and even treat the wound. But the technology’s range of application goes beyond the military.
‘We envision all the trend of personalised medicine for remote monitoring of the elderly at home, monitoring a wide range of biomedical markers, like cardiac markers, alerting for any potential stroke, diabetic changes and other changes related to other biomedical scenario,’ Professor Wang said.
Wearable biosensors can also provide valuable information to athletes or even measure blood alcohol levels.
But Professor Wang said it could be some time before these smart underpants are worn by soldiers in the field as more work is needed to ensure the monitoring systems are robust and durable enough to cope with daily activity.
Despite this he concluded clothing-integrated sensors hold ‘considerable promise for future healthcare.’
Via Daily Mail