Improving the design of soft, assistive wearables

July 1st, 2022

Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have devised a scalable pipeline to computationally design and digitally fabricate soft pneumatic actuators. Called “PneuAct,” it has resolved the challenge with soft robotics, which have required manual design and fabrication.  PneuAct uses a machine knitting process, which operates autonomously. A human designer specifies the […]

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MIT creates weavable battery

February 1st, 2022

This submarine drone is powered by a 20-meter-long fiber battery that is wrapped on its surface. Photo: MIT. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the form of an ultra-long fiber that could be woven into fabrics. The battery could enable a wide variety of wearable electronic devices […]

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Eco-friendly passive cooling solution

February 1st, 2022

Nanopores in fabrics made of PE allow heat to escape from the body. Photos: MIT Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. Scientists from MIT’s Dept. of Mechanical Engineering have developed a means to modify fibers of PE (polyethylene), found in plastic wrap and grocery bags, to create fabrics that absorb and evaporate water more quickly than common […]

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Providing your own power

January 1st, 2022

Biofuel cells harvesting energy from sweat, part of a wearable microgrid developed at the Center for Wearable Sensors, UC San Diego. Photo: Lu Yin. Power and efficiency are important drivers in energy harvesting technology for e-textiles, but there is much more to consider. Bulk, weight, flexibility, sustainability, ease of integration and scalability are also among […]

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E-fiber just got smarter

September 1st, 2021

MIT researchers have created the first fabric fiber with digital capabilities, ready to collect, store and analyze data using a neural network. “This work presents the first realization of a fabric with the ability to store and process data, adding a new information content dimension to textiles and allowing fabrics to be programmed literally,” says […]

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Engineers make a self-cooling fabric from polyethylene

June 1st, 2021

In considering materials that could become the fabrics of the future, helping humans adapt to climate change, scientists have largely dismissed one widely available option: polyethylene. This thin and lightweight material, commonly used in plastic grocery bags, could keep a person cooler than most textiles because it allows heat through rather than trapping it in. […]

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AFFOA partners with MIT

May 31st, 2018

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is partnering with MIT-Venture Mentoring Service to launch the Advanced Fabric Entrepreneurship Program. AFFOA’s mission is to catalyze a domestic manufacturing-based revolution, converting traditional fibers, yarns and textiles into sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems, facilitating the transformation of the textile industry to make it value-added and high-tech. […]

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MIT develops new technique for ultrafine fibers

April 1st, 2018

They may be ultrafine, but fibers produced using a new process developed by researchers at MIT are strong and tough enough for use in applications including protective armor and nanocomposites. The process, known as gel electrospinning, is a variation of the traditional method of gel spinning, but with electrical forces. It creates ultrafine polyethylene fibers […]

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Smart bandage, smartphone controlled

March 1st, 2018

Even with medical science advances, the treatment of wounds is often fairly low tech. The process of changing bandages and applying the right medication at the right interval is often labor intensive. Promoting faster healing and preventing infection remain concerns. Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have developed a bandage […]

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MIT researchers design breathable workout suit

August 1st, 2017

It seems counterintuitive that something associated with dampness and sweaty aromas could be used to help keep the body cool and dry. But a team of MIT researchers is looking at bacteria in a fresh way and using it in apparel that provides ventilation in response to body heat and sweat. According to the researchers, […]

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