Textile-Integrated Sensors and Actuators

© K. Selsam, Fraunhofer ISC
Vest with integrated posture sensors.

The monitoring of movement and pressure load as well as the actuator- or electrical triggering of signals or stimuli on the clothing or clothing components may be interesting for different applications. In sports and fitness, they can be used to control proper posture, for optimal fit of shoes and insoles, or for support in play and sports equipment.

Based on the prototype of a sensitive pressure measuring sock for monitoring the foot pressure load of diabetic patients, CeSMA continues to develop these functionalities:

  • Nerve stimulation for the purpose of pain relief or regeneration of nerve damage
  • Support of muscle training
  • Control of the foot posture


Material base

Silicones with specific properties

  • High elasticity
  • Washable, hygienically safe
  • Robust
  • Skin compatibility tested according to DIN EN ISO 10993-5:2009-10, part 5 Test for in-vitro cytotoxicity



For the sensor and actuator properties, the material must be made conductive for current electrodes using a special process developed by CeSMA. In the form of dielectric elastomer sensors (DES) - very elastic films with highly flexible electrodes on both sides, strains or pressures can be measured. By gluing, printing or ironing, the foils and pads in textiles and fabrics can be mechanically extremely stable integrated. The silicone structures are:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to process
  • Stretchable up to 100 percent
  • Geometrically customizable

Video: Physiognomia

Source: Youtube

In the video by Julia Danckwerth, different areas of application for further development are presented.