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- Mar 14, 2017 -

       Introduction: According to a new study shows that the use of special treatment of cellulose fibers woven into the fabric, the encounter when the low voltage power, it will be the same as the real muscle fiber contraction. Researchers envision that the successful application of this material can help people with disabilities to help, but also help the physical staff to reduce the intensity of work.

Textile processing is one of the oldest technologies in mankind, but in recent years, we have re-focused on using it to create "smart" textiles and to get some "new capabilities" that are good for people.

Recently, the researchers at the University of Linxoping, Sweden, through ordinary shuttle looms, knitting machines were woven plain weave fabric and plain knit fabric, and then coated with conductive polymer on the fabric surface, to create a "fabric" for the formation of human Skeletal system.

At present, in vitro skeletal bodies have been developed that can be used to improve human weightlifting or to help people with disabilities walk, but these institutions are mostly relying on motor or pneumatic system, so particularly bulky, the noise is relatively large, and the action stiff, The Lin Xueping University researchers say they hope that one day the use of textile technology to obtain the exoskeleton institutions can be applied to large-scale production activities, as well as software on the robot.

The reason why the first use of cellulose fiber as the matrix to carry out this study, mainly cellulose fiber biocompatible and renewable, and can be knitted, woven method woven into many forms. The method of coating the conductive polymer is similar to that of the conventional coating process, and the polypyrrole (PPy) conductive polymer is coated on the woven fabric.

In a new study published in Science Advances on 25th,Jan, the team found that the fabric was able to produce a greater force at the voltage, while the knitted fabric produced less force, but the elasticity of the knitted fabric is very good.

In order to demonstrate this stress-strain characteristic, the researchers also tied a small piece of knitted fabric to the Le G to the lever and successfully increased by 0.07 ounces (about 2 grams). By changing the fabric's structural structure, the fabric could transform the corresponding stress strain the weight.

Xing Fan, an associate professor of chemistry engineering at Chongqing University, is also committed to the study of smart textiles. He pointed out that the study of Linxoping University is a very meaningful step towards the commercial viability of smart textiles, but there are some problems that need to be overcome.

Since the conductive principle of the polypyrrole (PPy) conductive polymer is the charge exchange in which the ions are immersed in the solution - leaving the fiber matrix, the material still needs to be immersed in the liquid electrolyte as an ion source of PPy. The material is also much slower than the mammalian muscle reaction and takes several minutes to fully expand or contract.

The research team has been designing second-generation "weave" to solve these problems. Reduce the response time is only to reduce the diameter of the yarn to a few microns, the market has a loom can be achieved. The researchers are also studying how to embed the electrolyte into the fabric so that it can operate in the air.

The researchers also said that the material is not necessarily confined to cellulosic fibers, but the successful manufacture of cellulose fibers made this component fully illustrates the feasibility of fabricating functional components of textiles and smart materials. This may not be the best material, but the future to find more suitable materials for people may be inspired, and can use this technology as a starting point to make improvements.

"Our dream is that older people or people with disabilities can wear such clothing, action is more convenient, and even to assist the rehabilitation of the injured staff.Moreover, we believe that after years of improvement, a viable smart textile actuator "Said Edwin Jager, an applied physicist at Linxoping University, who led the study, on the days of business investors' desks.