Game-Changing Henswear Nanosensors Revolutionize Health Monitoring in Clothing

Engineers at the University of Delaware have developed a game-changing wearable nanotech that could revolutionize how we monitor health. Their creation? Nanosensors that blend seamlessly into clothing and track human movement in real-time.

These nanosensors, now called Henswear, were over 15 years in the making. Materials engineer Erik Thostenson started developing them using carbon nanotubes back in the 2000s. In 2019, he teamed up with scientist Sagar Doshi to form a company focused on sensor tech for infrastructure and human motion monitoring.

They first tested the nanosensors’ ability to collect motion data by collaborating with biomechanics professor Jil Higginson. The pilot was a success, becoming the foundation for Henswear. The future of personalized medicine is looking sharp.

The current nanosensors are super flexible, highly sensitive to pressure and angle changes, and thin while costing less than $1 per gram. They can easily be added to existing fabrics or applied directly.

Thanks to a National Science Foundation grant, the researchers will now conduct more studies to validate the sensors. As Higginson explains, they’ll focus on exercise and range of motion – data that could help doctors track patient therapy progress.

To go from lab prototype to real-world wearable, the team is working on material durability so the sensors withstand washing. They’re also teaming up with the university’s tech commercialization office to identify potential markets and users.

The end goal is translating the groundbreaking research into practical applications – from souped-up fitness trackers to aiding injury recovery. As Thostenson puts it, “It’s great to be able to advance these sensors out of the lab and put them on people.”

With testing underway, the nanotech could soon help people heal and regain strength. The sensors show how marrying materials science and health research can lead to inventions that measurably improve lives.