Printed circuits that you can wet and stretch are exciting developments for smart garments! And in the realm of paper-based circuits, we hear of a new patterning technique for nanocellulose. Read our monthly selection of printed electronics news.

Washable circuits for smart clothes

A common problem with smart garments is that electronic components must often be removed to wash them. No more! Two Pittsburgh-based startups, Liquid X and Powercast, have found a way around this problem, by developing e-textiles that use conductive ink with water-proof circuitry. The image below shows a stretch of fabric with integrated, washable LEDs and a printed black strip, the power-receiving antenna.

© Powercast and Liquid X

Woven sensors to monitor health

Researchers at MIT have created prototypes of sensor-embedded garments, which are also machine-washable. The sensors are flexible and so can be woven into the stretchy fabric, which is form-fitting to record physical data such as body temperature and respiration rate. According to Printed Electronics World, “the researchers envision that this type of sensing could be used for monitoring people who are ill, either at home or in the hospital, as well as athletes or astronauts”.

Patterning for nanocellulose films

A new, liquid-phase fabrication method has been developed by researchers at Osaka University to produce nanocellulose films with multiple axes of alignment. The nanocellulose was harvested from sea squirts and patterned in 3D: a custom-made triaxial robot dispensed nanocellulose aqueous suspension into an acetone coagulation bath. The authors hope that their method — which allows for an alternating checkboard pattern of vertically and horizontally-aligned fibres — will have an impact on the development of new optical materials and printed electronics, reports Nanowerk.

A contest for printed electronics innovators

INNPAPER is running an Open Call for innovators. It’s your chance to pitch an idea for a real-world application of our technology — the winning proposal will get to kick-start the idea with the following: a technical viability assessment, a manufacturing process flow, a roadmap to TRL 7 and an estimation of the cost of the technology. The winner will also gain privileged access to INNPAPER’s pilot printing line, which includes, among other technologies: cutting edge roll to roll pilot coating technology, surface characterisation including AFM and SEM, inks formulation and sheet to sheet printing techniques.