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A Novel Force-Sensing Smart Textile: Inserting Silicone-Embedded FBG Sensors into a Knitted Undergarment


A number of textile-based fiber optic sensors have recently been proposed for the continuous monitoring of vital signs. However, some of these sensors are likely unsuitable for conducting direct measurements on the torso as they lack elasticity and are inconvenient. This project provides a novel method for creating a force-sensing smart textile by inlaying four silicone-embedded fiber Bragg grating sensors into a knitted undergarment. The applied force was determined within 3 N after transferring the Bragg wavelength. The results show that the sensors embedded in the silicone membranes achieved enhanced sensitivity to force, as well as flexibility and softness. Additionally, by assessing the degree of FBG response to a range of standardized forces, the linearity (R2) between the shift in the Bragg wavelength and force was found to be above 0.95, with an ICC of 0.97, when tested on a soft surface. Furthermore, the real-time data acquisition could facilitate the adjustment and monitoring of force during the fitting processes, such as in bracing treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients. Nevertheless, the optimal bracing pressure has not yet been standardized. This proposed method could help orthotists to adjust the tightness of brace straps and the location of padding in a more scientific and straightforward way. The output of this project could be further extended to determine ideal bracing pressure levels.