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Smart Nanotextiles: A Review of Materials and Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

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The development of smart nanotextiles has the potential to revolutionize the functionality of our clothing and the fabrics in our surroundings. Nanoscale manipulation results in new functionalities for intelligent textiles, including self-cleaning, sensing, actuating, and communicating. This is made possible by such developments as new materials, fibers, and finishings; inherently conducting polymers; carbon nanotubes; and antimicrobial nanocoatings. These additional functionalities have numerous applications, encompassing healthcare, sports, military applications, and fashion. The wearer and the surrounding environment may be monitored in an innocuous manner, giving continuous updates of individual health status or environmental hazards. More generally, smart textiles become a critical part of the emerging area of body sensor networks incorporating sensing, actuation, control, and wireless data transmission. This article reviews current research in nanotechnology application to textiles, from fiber manipulation and development to end uses of smart nanotextiles.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2007

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