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Embedded Electronics

Unit(s) of assessment: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Research theme: Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials

School: School of Art & Design


For today's Smart and Interactive Textiles (SMIT) electronic functionality is either integrated onto existing garments by attaching components, or during fabric manufacture. Our aim is to integrate micro-electronic devices into the core of yarns to produce robust, fully flexible, machine-washable SMITs.

Addressing the Challenge

Potential applications for the technology include the areas listed below.

  • Retail: RFID tagging of textile products from manufacture to point of sale.
  • Medicine: Vital signs monitoring, body chemistry monitoring, stroke rehabilitation, pressure measurement in compression garments, RFID tagging (numerous applications from stock control to use in care of those with dementia).
  • Military: Vital signs monitoring, performance monitoring, physical condition, position and orientation monitoring, radiation monitoring, monitoring of harmful gasses, RFID tagging (numerous applications), wearable communications devices, camouflage, metamaterial devices for microwave cloaking, smart clothing with response to the environment.
  • Sports: Performance monitoring.
  • Architecture: Stress and strain measurement in textile roofs, ropes and textile composites. Lighting screens, flexible display screens
  • Aerospace: Stress, strain and temperature measurement in textile composites
  • Personal electronics: Wearable computers, wearable communications devices, electronics for social interactions
  • Fashion: Illuminated textiles of the high street and the stage.


Tilak Dias is the Professor of Knitting at Nottingham Trent University. He is the founder and the leader of the Advanced Textiles Research Group in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University.

Professor Dias has a background in electronics, textiles and electronic textiles and a track record in exploiting his research. The intellectual property of his work has been protected with 41 patent applications with 24 already granted. In addition, Professor Dias’ research has resulted in the creation three spin-out companies in the UK for the commercialisation of the above IP.

The main focus of his current work is in the area of electronic textiles where the objective is to embed integrated circuit chips within the fibres of yarns.

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