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Materials for human well-being


Smart textiles for human health and well-being

Many new materials relevant for human health well-being can be processed into smart textiles. However, to introduce in practice these smart textiles in our daily life or to ensure clinical relevance these materials have to be skin-friendly or biological tissue compatible, washable for wearables and garments, and to have high durability and low cost. The challenges and strategies for a textile to become smart (e.g. stimuli-responsive or sensing) will be the main focus of this session.


Smart textiles are interesting new materials categories to monitor body function, to deliver drugs, to replace or reinforced biological tissues, to improve the quality of life of disabled and elderly people or the performance of sportspeople. The main advantages and the originality of textiles is their unique combination of properties, i.e. they are flexible, light weight, resistant, porous and elastically deformable. Textiles are structured assemblies of fibers, that can be made of many different materials like, polymers, ceramics, metals etc and, especially for applications near or in the body, many new skin-friendly or biocompatible materials are used. This ensures the comfort and the high acceptance of this new technologies making them good candidates for truly wearable or implantable solutions.

Several existing concepts for sensing or actuating the environment near or inside the body can be adapted for implementation into a textile material. However, the main challenges for a successful implementation are their washability, long-term reliability and low cost to be accepted by medicine or public consumers. Additionally, recent discussions about reuse and recycling, or product end life, have highlighted the need to consider sustainability of these materials.

It is the aim of this proposed symposium to bring together expertise in soft and fiber materials science, textile engineering, health science and biology, signal processing, electronics and electrical engineering.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

Drug delivery systems

  • Stimuli responsive textiles
  • Degradation kinetics
  • Polymeric drug carriers

Tissue engineering and protheses

  • Skin, body and tissue interfacing
  • Biocompatible textiles
  • Biodegradable textiles

Sports and medical textiles

  • Body monitoring
  • New thermal management materials
  • Low friction materials
  • Ortheses, exoskeletons

Smart textiles for personal thermal management and health

  • Personalized heating
  • Passive radiant cooling
  • Precision health

Two special topics will be considered in a common session with the Symposium “Advanced and sustainable materials for high performance textiles”

Fiber and wearables textile-based sensors

  • Electronic textiles (E-textiles)
  • Optical fibers (O-Textiles)
  • Wearable energy harvesting concept
  • Metal-polymer or polymer-polymer connections (sensor basic textile connections)

Sustainability textiles

  • Circular textile coatings management
  • Eco-friendly functional additives
  • Extended use concept
  • Bio-based formulations, polymers and textiles
  • Degradability conditions

List of invited speakers (confirmed):

  • Jinlian Hu (City University of Hong Kong, China)
  • Vladan Koncar (ENSAIT, France)
  • Fabien Sorin (EPFL, Switzerland)


Selected manuscripts will be published in a special issue of JEFF (Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, IF 2.9 publisher SAGE).



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Symposium organizers
Faming WANGKU Leuven

Kasteelspark Arenburg 30, Department of Biosystems, Leuven 3001, Belgium
Marie-Ange BUENO (Main organizer)Université de Haute Alsace, Laboratory of Textile Physics and Mechanics

11 rue Alfred, 68093 Mulhouse, France
Raul FANGUEIROUniversity of Minho

School of Engineering, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
René M. ROSSIEmpa

Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, CH-9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland