Patients with diabetes often suffer from nervous and circulatory disorders on their feet, and their sensation of pain is reduced. They literally do not feel when the shoe pushes them. Even small uneven areas or the pressure of the shoe on the foot can lead to open wounds.
Sensors in the stocking measure the pressure three-dimensionally
So that badly healing wounds do not even form, CeSMA has developed a special stocking with integrated sensors with the support of industrial partners and colleagues of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. A total of 40 very thin, dielectric elastomer sensors measure the pressure load and distribution on the sock, the heel, the foot and the ankle and therefore record the signals in three dimensions.
40 - channel transmitter
The dielectric elastomer sensors (DES) are made of a highly stretchable, soft silicone elastomeric film - an ideal prerequisite for integration into textiles. The film is coated on both sides with highly flexible carbon black electrodes. If the film deforms as a result of pressure or expansion, its thickness decreases while the surface area increases. The electrical capacitance increases. The ASIC measuring electronics was developed by the Fraunhofer colleagues from IIS. It is designed so that up to 40 capacitive sensor signals can be detected in a very wide range of values with high resolution.
The sensor is surrounded by two layers of fabric, which increases the dressing and undressing comfort. It is introduced by sewing or gluing in the hosiery textile. The stocking itself consists of a blended fabric of cotton and synthetic fiber. The material is breathable, moisturizing and is characterized by a high wearing comfort. The sensors are resistant to water, detergents and disinfectants.