Bio-sensing textiles -wearable chemical biosensors for health monitoring

Shirley Coyle, Yanzhe Wu, King Tong Lau, Sarah Brady, Gordon Wallace, Dermot Diamond

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years much progress has been made in the integration of physical transducers into clothing e.g. breathing rate, heart rate and temperature [1]. The integration of chemical sensing into textiles adds a new dimension to the field of smart clothing. Wearable chemical sensors may be used to provide valuable information about the wearer's health, monitoring the wearer during their daily routine within their natural environment. In addition to physiological measurements chemical sensors may also be used to monitor the wearer's surrounding environment, identifying safety concerns and detecting threats. Whether the clothes are looking into the wearer's personal health status or looking out into the surroundings, chemical sensing calls for a novel approach to sensor and textile integration. In contrast to physical sensors, chemical sensors and biosensors depend on selective reactions happening at an active surface which must be directly exposed to a sample. Therefore issues of fluid handling, calibration and safety must be considered. This paper discusses the constraints in integrating chemical sensors into a textile substrate. Methods of fluid control using inherently conducting polymers (ICPs) are discussed and a pH textile sensor is presented. This sensor uses colorimetric techniques using LEDs controlled by a wireless platform. Some of the potential applications of wearable chemical sensors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks (BSN 2007)
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783540709930
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2007 - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 26 Mar 200728 Mar 2007

Publication series

NameIFMBE Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1680-0737


Conference4th International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN 2007


  • Biosensors
  • Patient monitoring
  • Pervasive healthcare
  • Wearable sensors

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