Rice University researchers create smart shirt that can monitor your heart rate
Researchers at a university in Texas, USA, have developed a “smart shirt” that would be able to measure users’ heart rates efficiently and accurately. Rice University researchers created a sports shirt with conductive fibers of carbon nanotubes. Scientists say the nanotube fibers are sewn into shit and are able to successfully take a continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) from the wearer. The fibers have been transformed into threads which in turn can be as conductive as metallic threads. The study was led by Rice University graduate student Lauren Taylor, who said the shirt must fit snugly across the chest to function properly.
Taylor, in a press release, said researchers will focus in the future on using denser plates of carbon nanotube strands so that there is more surface area to contact the skin. The research paper from the researchers at Rice University was published in an American Chemical Society journal named Nano Letters on August 30. Taylor said there is a zigzag pattern on the shirt that can be adjusted and matched to a fabric’s stretch.
Since the data collected depends on the shirt’s skin contact, researchers are currently working with a team from the Texas Heart Institute to maximize the surface area of the clothing to improve skin contact. They said the fibers are machine washable, soft and flexible thanks to the zigzag stitching pattern.
The researchers also compared the data collected by the shirt with standard chest belt monitors and commercial medical electrode monitors in live experiments. The ECG results were found to be better with the carbon nanotube jacket.
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