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1. A Soft Manikin System for Evaluating Dynamic Breast Movement and Pressure Sensation for Bra Design Optimization

Principal Investigator: Dr Kit-lun Yick, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
The soft manikin system, which includes a manikin made of soft silicone and a body movement simulator, mimics the dynamic movements of the soft tissues of human breasts during various activities such as walking and running. Contrary to traditional human wear trials, this low-cost system obtains information for objective evaluation of bra performance in motion, providing a reliable basis for pressure and support assessments. The system covers a range of breast sizes using interchangeable breast parts. It helps bra designers to identify the most suitable design features and materials for optimal breast support and wearing comfort.


2. Air-Conditioned Facemask

Gold Award and Special Award at the 35th World Genius Convention and Education Expo 2021
Gold Medal and Grand Award (Excellence in Innovation Award) at the 13th European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (EUROINVENT) 2021

Principal Investigator: Dr Dahua Shou, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
This new facemask integrating a 3D printed frame and a thermoregulation unit aims to strike a balance between effective personal protection and wearing comfort. Worn with a disposable surgical facemask, the design allows thermoregulative ventilation which improves the user’s breathing ease and thermal comfort. The frame provides sufficient space for ventilation inside the mask, and prevents direct contact between the surgical mask and the wearer’s face. The AC facemask is compatible with most existing disposable surgical masks, and can be reused after sanitizing. It is an ideal choice for medical professionals, caretakers, outdoor workers, firefighters, soldiers, etc.


3. Breathable, Heat-intelligent Personal Protective Equipment

Principal Investigator: Prof. Zijian Zheng, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
To address the environment challenges posed by disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) made of nonbiodegradable materials, such as facemasks, protective suits and gloves, a new technology has been developed to produce reusable heat-intelligent PPE by printing wearable electrical resistive heaters on non-woven fabrics with high breathability and filtration efficiency. These in-situ heaters can heat up the fabrics to a high temperature up to 95 degrees Celsius at a controlled voltage, and effectively deactivate pathogens, allowing the equipment to be reused safely. This new type of PPE is expected to make a significant impact on social healthcare and environmental protection.


4. High-performance Textile-based Flexible Batteries

Principal Investigator: Prof. Zijian Zheng, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
Unlike conventional Li-ion batteries with metal foils used in wearable electronics, our flexible batteries developed with conductive textiles achieve high energy storage performance, remarkable flexibility and excellent cyclic stability simultaneously. They are thin, lightweight, foldable, bendable, durable, washable and have been proved to be penetration and impact safe. These flexible batteries are also customizable in size and energy capacity, allowing a high degree of flexibility for product design. They can be used to power portable and wearable electronics for the applications of healthcare treatment and monitoring, Internet of Things and human-interface interactions.


5. iBalanx – AI Smart Insole with Instant Reminder to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

Principal Investigator: Dr Christina Zong-Hao Ma, Department of Biomedical Engineering
iBalanx is a smart footwear system for real-time balance monitoring. Using wearable motion sensors, the system collects relevant data from users and analyzes their balance performance and gait in both static and dynamic situations. When fall risks are detected, the system will send instant messages to users through a mobile app, prompting them to improve their postures to avoid falling. The system supports real-time data upload to Cloud, allowing healthcare professionals to remotely monitor the balance performance of patients and elderly people for more efficient fall prevention and protection control. It can also be used as a balance training device.


6. Machine Learning for Empowered Customer Design Experiences

Principal Investigator: Mr Lionel Wong Zhen-jie, School of Design
To empower customers to realize their own design visions into products, this web-based application involves users in the processes of designing and producing their desired high heel shoes. Users can experiment with the adjustable sets of parameters to design fashionable heels of desired fit, aesthetics and performances, and generate a variety of outcomes. Selected designs can be fabricated through 3D printing and made-to-order procedures. The application offers a convenient communication platform for customers and additive manufacturing suppliers and factories, on which order placement, inventory coordination, shipping arrangements and status tracking can be performed digitally for maximum efficiency and minimum wastage.


7. Total Pressure Management and Balance-enhancing Geriatric Footwear

Principal Investigator: Dr Kit-lun Yick, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
Our geriatric footwear aims to improve balance control and planter pressure distribution in elderly people. It helps to prevent falls and various problems related to excessive or uneven plantar pressure, such as loss of sensation, reduced mobility and foot ulcers. The footwear consists of a number of balance-enhancing components, including a flexible heel counter, arch support and detachable silicone nodules. Catering to varying needs of individual wearers, those nodules can be strategically placed on specific areas to stimulate and enhance plantar sensations as well as reduce and redistribute plantar pressure for better walking stability and wearing comfort.


8. Anti-viral and Anti-microbial Durable Disinfectant Coatings for Facemask

Principal Investigator: Prof. Xiao-ming Tao, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
This project aims to develop a series of green disinfectants based on poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) oligomer and its homologues, using a rapid synthesis technique which involves cost-effective processes. The disinfectants produced in this way demonstrate wide-spectrum anti-microbial properties against fungi and bacteria, with a remarkable anti-bacterial rate of over 99.99%. They can effectively kill influenza viruses, such as H1N1 and H3N2, with an anti-viral activity rate of 99.99%. Moreover, these disinfectants are non-toxic and biodegradable, and can be applied as aqueous coating solutions over facemasks and other personal protection equipment for enhanced disinfection efficacy. 


9. Durable, Washable, High-performance Conductive Textiles

Principal Investigator: Prof. Zijian Zheng, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
The conductive textiles are fabricated with our patented technology "Polymer-assisted Metal Deposition” (PAMD) in a cost-effective way. The finished textiles are durable, flexible, washable, and show excellent adhesion between the metal layers and the textile fibres, which results in remarkable conductive performance. PAMD has been proved to be fully compatible with the conventional “pad-dry-cure” roll-to-roll process in the textile industry, and can create conductive patterns over fabrics using various printing techniques. Such textiles can be used as electrodes for flexible energy storage devices and sensors, and electric interconnects for smart clothing systems.


10. Fabrication and Investigation of a Flexible Yarn-based Film Solar Cell for Smart Clothing

Principal Investigator: Prof. Kinor Shou-xiang Jiang, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
The innovative solar cell is fabricated by coating functional layers around a fibre substrate to create photoelectric filaments through magnetron sputtering. Unlike conventional methods of wearable solar cell fabrication, this technology involves a controllable, waterless and environmentally friendly process. The cylindrical form of the finished solar cell enables it to absorb sunlight from all directions (360°) without the need to rotate with the sun. It is lightweight, flexible and knittable with high sunlight absorption and photoelectric conversion rates. Filament solar cells can be knitted into fabrics to create self-powered textiles for wearable electronics and a wide range of other applications.


11. Flexible and Transparent Electrode

Principal Investigator: Prof. Zijian Zheng, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
Flexible electronics are gaining attention and momentum in the market. To achieve fully flexible electronic products, there is a growing demand of compatibly flexible components, including electrodes. Our technology of "Electrochemical Replication and Transfer" (ERT) has been developed to fabricate flexible and transparent electrodes by embedding high resolution conductive patterns in flexible substrates. These electrodes are highly flexible and can be freely bent or folded without performance degradation. They can be applied on flexible consumer gadgets, solar cells, smart windows, and different kinds of wearable smart electronics, such as high-tech fashion items and medical devices.


12. GelisTM Smart Hydrogel Filaments

Principal Investigator: Dr Bin Fei, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
GelisTM hydrogel filaments are tougher and more elastic than conventional moisture absorbent fibres which tend to break during its wet state. They are highly compressible and stretchable, demonstrate shape memory intelligence, and support rapid sterilization. Prepared from biocompatible polymers using green spinning techniques, they are strong in dry status and readily woven, knitted or braided into fabrics or made into non-wovens. The resultant fabrics are suitable for various applications like water absorption, wound treatment, hygiene care, cosmetics, and are perfect materials for products like medical accessories, diapers, sanitary napkins, etc.


13. Innovation of Highly Efficient Far Infrared Functional Textiles

Gold Award at the 4th China (Shanghai) International Exhibition of Invention and Innovation 2021

Principal Investigator: Dr Li Li, Institute of Textiles & Clothing
Far infrared (FIR) fabrics has a growing market for use in clothing and healthcare products for pain relief, muscle recovery, sleep improvement and body temperature regulation. Produced through structural modification of man-made fibres, our unique textile has a permanent FIR function that helps to increase blood microcirculation, enhance metabolism and enable thermal preservation. Through theoretical simulation and national standard assessment, it is proved to achieve higher FIR emission and better temperature preservation. In addition, this FIR textile demonstrates better quality in terms of weight, moisture management and wear comfort. It is also cost-effective and eco-friendly with no added chemicals.