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Directly embroidered microtubes for fluid transport in wearable applications

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We demonstrate, for the first time, a facile and low-cost approach for integrating highly flexible and stretchable microfluidic channels into textile-based substrates. The integration of the microfluidics is accomplished by means of directly embroidering surface-functionalized micro-tubing in a zigzag/meander pattern and subsequently coating it with an elastomer for irreversible bonding. We show the utility of the embroidered micro-tubing by developing robust and stretchable drug-delivery and electronic devices. Controlled drug-delivery platforms with sustained release are achieved through selected laser ablated openings. We further demonstrate a wearable wireless resonant displacement sensor capable of detecting strains ranging from 0 to 60% with an average sensitivity of 45 kHz per % strain by filling the embroidered tubing with a liquid metal alloy, creating stretchable conductive microfluidics with <0.4 Ω resistance variations at their maximum stretchability (100%). The interconnects can withstand 1500 repeated stretch-and-release cycles at 30% strain with a less than 0.1 Ω change in resistance.

Graphical abstract: Directly embroidered microtubes for fluid transport in wearable applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jan 2017, accepted on 22 Mar 2017 and first published on 24 Mar 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00074J
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017, Advance Article
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    Directly embroidered microtubes for fluid transport in wearable applications

    R. Rahimi, W. Yu, M. Ochoa and B. Ziaie, Lab Chip, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00074J

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