Scientists have developed a simple metallic textile finish for clothing or wearable textiles that can repair itself, repel bacteria from the wearer and even monitor a person’s electrocardiogram (ECG) heart signals. Researchers from Flinders University in South Australia, North Carolina State University and South Korea say the conductive circuits created by liquid metal (LM) particles could transform wearable electronics and open doors for further development of human-machine interfaces, including soft robotics and health monitoring systems.
The breathable electronic textiles have special connectivity powers to autonomously heal themselves, even when cut. When the coated textiles are pressed with significant force, the particles merge into a conductive path, which enables the creation of circuits that can maintain conductivity when stretched.
The LM-coated textiles also offer effective antimicrobial protection against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. This germ-repellent ability not only gives the treated fabric protective qualities but prevents the porous material from becoming contaminated if worn for an extended time or put in contact with other people. Photo: Flinders University