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Posted on June 10, 2010 by  & 

Harvesting by a thread

Researchers at Cetemmsa, outside Barcelona, are taking materials science to the textile sector. They've developed conducting threads that heat up or become illuminated in response to a charge; these might be used in sports applications. They're also involved in an EU project,, DEPHOTEX, to develop a textile for photovoltaic energy, with the goal of someday creating a shade, perhaps even an umbrella, that can also serve as a photovoltaic panel. Dephotex are carrying out research on Photovoltaic Textiles based on novel Fibres for 3 years from November 2008 to October 2011.
Cetemmsa has also applied this electronic textile concept to the health sector, creating a skin patch that releases the active material only when and where the user wants it, as opposed to the slow, continuous release available in today's patches. A slight charge triggered by a battery or energy harvesting will cause a barely discernible temperature change in the fabric, and warm up the nanocapsules (ceveloped by project partners) that contain the active ingredients. Stopping the charge would halt the release. Cetemmsa is now working with dermatologists to design a patch like this for use with skin treatment products.
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Posted on: June 10, 2010

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