Lungs Respiratory System

Published in journal Sensors is a study wherein researches have described how wearing a particular ‘smart’ T-shirt they have developed helps monitor breathing in real time.

Researchers have created the smart T-shirt without using any wires or sensors. Researchers at University of Laval, Canada, explain that the key to their smart T-shirt is the antenna sewn in at chest level that is made of a hollow optical fibre coated with a thin layer of silver on its inner surface. The fibre’s exterior surface is covered in a polymer that protects it against the environment. The antenna does double duty, sensing and transmitting the signals created by respiratory movements.

Scientists are optimistic that their invention will go a long way into helping patients with respiratory disorders as it could be used to diagnose respiratory illnesses or monitor people suffering from asthma, sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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The data captured by the antenna can then be sent to the user’s smartphone or a nearby computer. As the wearer breathes in, the smart fibre senses the increase in both thorax circumference and the volume of air in the lungs, researchers said.

Scientists explain that the changes happening inside the body while breathing modify some of the resonant frequency of the antenna and that’s how it captures the required data. Further, the T-shirt doesn’t have to be a tight one or doesn’t need to be in direct contact of the wearer’s skin for the antenna to work.

The oscillations alone are enough for the fibre in the antenna to monitor the wearer’s respiratory rate. Tests have so far indicated that the T-shirt is able to capture reliable data in all positions including when the user is lying down, sitting, standing, or moving around.

Further, scientists even subjected the T-shirt to wash tests and even after 20 washes, the antenna had withstood the water and detergent and was still in good working condition. Check out awesome deals of the day


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