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Biosensors 2018, 8(2), 33;

Smart Garment Fabrics to Enable Non-Contact Opto-Physiological Monitoring

Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK
Pireta Limited, Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK
Textile Engineering and Materials Research Group, School of Design, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG) is an emerging technology used to assess microcirculation and cardiovascular signs by collecting backscattered light from illuminated tissue using optical imaging sensors. The aim of this study was to study how effective smart garment fabrics could be capturing physiological signs in a non-contact mode. The present work demonstrates a feasible approach of, instead of using conventional high-power illumination sources, integrating a grid of surface-mounted light emitting diodes (LEDs) into cotton fabric to spotlight the region of interest (ROI). The green and the red LEDs (525 and 660 nm) placed on a small cotton substrate were used to locally illuminate palm skin in a dual-wavelength iPPG setup, where the backscattered light is transmitted to a remote image sensor through the garment fabric. The results show that the illuminations from both wavelength LEDs can be used to extract heart rate (HR) reaching an accuracy of 90% compared to a contact PPG probe. Stretching the fabric over the skin surface alters the morphology of iPPG signals, demonstrating a significantly higher pulsatile amplitude in both channels of green and red illuminations. The skin compression by the fabric could be potentially utilised to enhance the penetration of illumination into cutaneous microvascular beds. The outcome could lead a new avenue of non-contact opto-physiological monitoring and assessment with functional garment fabrics. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG); smart garment fabric; light emitting diode (LED); heart rate measurement; signal processing; motion artefacts imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG); smart garment fabric; light emitting diode (LED); heart rate measurement; signal processing; motion artefacts

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Iakovlev, D.; Hu, S.; Hassan, H.; Dwyer, V.; Ashayer-Soltani, R.; Hunt, C.; Shen, J. Smart Garment Fabrics to Enable Non-Contact Opto-Physiological Monitoring. Biosensors 2018, 8, 33.

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