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Garments as Devices

Through the use of Shima Seiki’s comprehensive computer programs, we are able to simulate and understand the form before ever making it into a tangible item. The images above show how the pattern for the garment can be created and then virtually stitched onto a 3d model, as well as be assessed in terms of fit and areas of stress.

Rather than garments as containers of electronic equipment our goals are to design garments as electronic themselves, blending modes of medical diagnostics into wearable textiles. We set out to incorporate comfort and ergonomics into new types of medical instrumentation using the flexible and reconfigurable production method of computerized knitting systems. Currently we are developing a maternity smart fabric bellyband to monitor uterine activity and assess fetal well being. This project leverages new development in fiber, yarn and knitting technology and passive radio frequency identification (RFID) for the creation of a wearable wireless telemetry device that reduces bulk, improves comfort, and enables greater mobility in pregnant women.

Collaborators:
Kapil Dandekar, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering
Genevieve Dion, M.S. in Industrial Design, Director of the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab
Adam K. Fontecchio, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, College of Engineering
Tim Kurzweg, Ph. D., Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs, College of Engineering
Owen Montgomery, MD, FACOG, Chairman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine

Funding:
The Coulter Foundation