Method and System for Printing Flexible Sensors into Substrates

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2016-KRAM-67277
The manufacture of flexible electronics that exhibit the durability necessary for use on fabric substrates has always been a challenge. Wearable circuitry needs to exhibit an appropriate flexibility, durability, and adhesion to fabric substrates to be useful, yet present techniques rely on adhering electronics to fabric surfaces through resource-intensive processes that result in relatively delicate products with limited usefulness.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a single-process manufacturing method, similar to 3D printing, which enables the rapid manufacture of wearable electronics at a fraction of the cost. This method prints flexible sensors into a fabric substrate resulting in embedded sensing devices with dramatic increases in sophistication and resilience. This discovery extends to the production of multi-material sensors in a single manufacturing step, sets the stage for the next generation of wearable electronics with greater sensitivity and durability, and leads to the possibility of many new, more capable applications.

Advantages:
-Single-step manufacturing
-Increased sensitivity
-Inexpensive and smarter circuitry integrated into fabrics

Potential Applications:
-Manufacture of flexible, substrate embedded electronics
-Wearable electronics
-Health monitoring
-Quantified self
-Security/defense
Jul 28, 2017
Utility Patent
United States
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Jul 28, 2016
Provisional-Patent
United States
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Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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