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Mexican researchers work on textiles with health benefits
Jul '13
Researchers at the College of Agriculture (ESIT) of the National Institute of Polytechnic (IPN), Mexico, are developing fabrics and garments that would also have health benefits.
Soon, there would be a day when clothing would not only protect the wearer from intense heat or cold, but also measure blood pressure or glucose level of the person.
In some countries like Germany, Israel and Japan, research is currently underway on smart textiles, and the IPN, through the ESIT, has initiated a research aimed at developing fabrics capable of providing better quality of life and welfare of society.
Professor Elvira Cruz Osorio, head of the Department of Manufacturing at ESIT, said under the Factories Projects Unit, a group of students are working on the making of a garment that is close and compact on the human body, and contains medicinal herbs along the abdomen to decrease stress.
Professor Osorio said the coming years will be important for Mexico, for developing technology for garments with herbal medicine that decrease some discomfort. 
In this regard, the deepening of knowledge and research that ESIT is forging will be valuable for the production of textiles and intelligent capabilities to bridge the gap between European nations, which currently lead in creating products of this nature, and Mexico.
“One of the areas where smart fabrics will create the greatest impact is the health, as people suffering from ailments like diabetes would then find certain relief, for example from socks that prevent foot infection,” researcher Cruz Osorio said.
“Avoiding dryness or skin infection is one of the possibilities of fabrics or fibres made with a specific technology,” the ESIT academic added.
According to her, further research would make sutures in surgery more efficient and more adaptable to the human body.
Jesus Cansinos, engineer in the Department of finishes, said after analyzing the chemical and mechanical properties of various textiles, they are given a particular application that can be anti-bacterial, heat or flame retardant.
Another feature of smart textiles is the property to self-eliminate odors in outer wear or elimination of intense smells like snuff, which provides a further possibility for development of textiles and fibres with advanced technology.
During the next five years, IPN would conduct several researches for development of smart textiles, according to a statement.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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