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Wearable Fiber Optic Technology Based on Smart Textile: A Review

Zidan GongZiyang XiangXia OuyangJun ZhangNewman LauJie ZhouChi Chiu Chan*

Emerging smart textiles have enriched a variety of wearable technologies, including fiber optic technology. Optic fibers are widely applied in communication, sensing, and healthcare, and smart textiles enable fiber optic technology to be worn close to soft and curved human body parts for personalized functions. This review briefly introduces wearable fiber optic applications with various functions, including fashion and esthetics, vital signal monitoring, and disease treatment. The main working principles of side emission, wavelength modulation, and intensity modulation are summarized. In addition, textile fabrication techniques, including weaving and knitting, are discussed and illustrated as combination methods of embedding fiber optic technology into textile fabric. In conclusion, the combination of optical fibers and textiles has drawn considerable interest and developed rapidly. This work provides an overview of textile-based wearable fiber optic technology and discusses potential textile fabrication techniques for further improvement of wearable fiber optic applications.