Athletes and physical therapy patients are among those who could benefit from a newly developed fabric that monitors joint rotation.
Computer scientists at Dartmouth College designed the motion-capturing fabric, which was the subject of a study published recently in Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. The fabric achieved a high level of precision in reconstructing elbow joint angles, the study found.
Coaches could use the washable fabric to correct arm motion in athletes such as baseball pitchers, according to a news release from Dartmouth. It could also enhance evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments prescribed to physical therapy patients.
The fabric includes elastic fiber, nylon and yarns thinly coated with silver for conductivity. A detachable microcontroller records data on fabric resistance.
“We wear fabrics all the time, so they provide the perfect medium for continuous sensing,” says Xia Zhou, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth.
Tissue Protection for Heart Attack Patients
Irvine, California-based TherOx Inc. has gained FDA premarket approval for a therapy that reduces heart tissue damage among patients who experience the most serious type of heart attack: left anterior descending ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
SuperSaturated Oxygen (SSO2) Therapy is the first such treatment since percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), TherOx states in a news release. After PCI opens the coronary artery, physicians deliver hyperbaric levels of oxygen to ischemic heart muscle within six hours of the onset of symptoms.
“Even after angioplasty with stenting, many heart attack patients suffer from irreversible damage to the heart muscle, which carries a poor prognosis in terms of mortality and the potential for future heart failure,” says Gregg W. Stone, MD, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.
In a randomized trial, SSO2 reduced infarct size in patients who had experienced large anterior myocardial infarction.
Sleep Monitoring With PJs
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have developed sleepwear to unobtrusively monitor sleep-influencing factors such as sleep posture, heartbeat and breathing.
The goal is to improve sleep patterns, according to a release from the university. Researchers presented their findings at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Using a process known as reactive vapor deposition, the scientists created a polymer they were able to place directly on the fabric to craft integrated sensors. Five textile patches house the sensors, which are connected by silver-plated nylon threads encased in cotton. They relay information to a button-size circuit board and a wireless receiver.
Separate types of sensors in the washable sleepwear pick up readings such as posture and blood pressure.