Loughborough University project helps further develop nanogenerators for “smart clothing”

A zoomed in image of clothing

A Loughborough University project is helping in the drive to develop nanogenerator technology which can lead to “affordable” clothing capable of sensing how healthy we are.

Academics within the University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering hope their recent technological advancements can help them create clothing that will help measure activity levels and communicate with their surroundings.

Their most recent work has used 3D printing techniques to create a new Triboelectric Nanogenerator (TENG) design – which can then be customised through a series of liquids for the purpose of efficiently extracting energy from movements and for sensing.

Dr Ishara Dharmasena is a Senior Lecturer at Wolfson school who is leading on the project – which is now in the process of using this knowledge to develop wearable technology which picks up on a person’s natural movements to provide health data. He said:

TENGs are a rapidly growing piece of technology which are becoming a leading candidate in developing future smart textile and health monitoring applications.

The finding of this study, which provides detailed insights into how these devices can be made more efficient and effective, directly feeds into our efforts to develop technologies such as ‘super-smart textiles’, leading to a promising future with advanced and sustainable wearables.”