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Medical Smart Textiles Based on Fiber Optic Technology: An Overview

Center for Integrated Research, Università campus Bio-Medico, Alvaro del Portillo, 21, Rome 00128, Italy
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Academic Editor: Stephen J. Russell
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 204-221; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6020204
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Textiles)
The growing interest in the development of smart textiles for medical applications is driven by the aim to increase the mobility of patients who need a continuous monitoring of such physiological parameters. At the same time, the use of fiber optic sensors (FOSs) is gaining large acceptance as an alternative to traditional electrical and mechanical sensors for the monitoring of thermal and mechanical parameters. The potential impact of FOSs is related to their good metrological properties, their small size and their flexibility, as well as to their immunity from electromagnetic field. Their main advantage is the possibility to use textile based on fiber optic in a magnetic resonance imaging environment, where standard electronic sensors cannot be employed. This last feature makes FOSs suitable for monitoring biological parameters (e.g., respiratory and heartbeat monitoring) during magnetic resonance procedures. Research interest in combining FOSs and textiles into a single structure to develop wearable sensors is rapidly growing. In this review we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art of textiles, which use FOSs for monitoring of mechanical parameters of physiological interest. In particular we briefly describe the working principle of FOSs employed in this field and their relevant advantages and disadvantages. Also reviewed are their applications for the monitoring of mechanical parameters of physiological interest. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart textiles; fiber optic sensors; fiber Bragg grating sensors; respiratory monitoring; macrobending sensors; hetero-core fiber optics; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; MR-compatibility smart textiles; fiber optic sensors; fiber Bragg grating sensors; respiratory monitoring; macrobending sensors; hetero-core fiber optics; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; MR-compatibility
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Massaroni, C.; Saccomandi, P.; Schena, E. Medical Smart Textiles Based on Fiber Optic Technology: An Overview. J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6, 204-221.

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