A soft, flexible sensor system created with electrically conductive yarns could help map problematic pressure points in the socket of an amputee’s prosthetic limb, researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State) report in a new study. The device incorporates a lattice of conductive yarns and is connected to a tiny computer. After testing the system on a prosthetic limb and in walking experiments with two human volunteers, they found the system could reliably track pressure changes in real time. “We designed sensors that can be integrated into textiles in a way that doesn’t cause any additional discomfort for the user and could be worn on a more regular basis,” says the study’s first author, graduate student Jordan Tabor. While researchers used a yarn that was commercially available for the study, they are working on developing their own textile fiber for more functionalities. Photo: Ashish Kapoor.