GS Paper - 3 (Nanotechnology)

IIT Guwahati researchers have developed a novel water repellent material that can be used for real-time monitoring of human movements. According to IIT, the material developed is flexible, non-stretchable and environmentally friendly that can detect low strains with high sensitivity.

What

  1. Wearable motion sensors are used for physiological monitoring of human movement.
  2. These sensors are used for gait analysis, understanding human and machine interactions and monitoring patients during rehabilitation processes.
  3. Such motion sensors are typically made of materials that convert the mechanical strain that arises from movement into electrical signals that can be detected.
  4. To be used as a wearable motion sensor, the strain sensing material must be flexible, robust, and highly sensitive to both large and subtle movements.
  5. The Researchers team has developed such a material that is superior to existing strain sensors with respect to both sensitivity and durability.

Flashback

  1. Until now, wearable strain sensors used the stretching function of the material to gauge strain. These sensors were made of polymers or fabrics in which nanoparticles of specialized materials were embedded.
  2. The constant stretching that is used to detect motion leads to fatigue and failure of the material over time.
  3. The researchers developed a metal-free, chemically reactive, and conductive ink, which they deposited on a chemically reactive paper in a specific pattern.
  4. The patterned interface developed by the IIT Guwahati team was found to be tolerant to abrasion, highly water repellent, and sensitive to low strain levels.