Flexible wire-shaped strain sensor from cotton thread for human health and motion detection

Yuan Qing Li, Pei Huang, Wei Bin Zhu, Shao Yun Fu, Ning Hu, Kin Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


In this work, a wire-shaped flexible strain sensor was fabricated by encapsulating conductive carbon thread (CT) with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. The key strain sensitive material, CT, was prepared by pyrolysing cotton thread in N 2 atmosphere. The CT/PDMS composite wire shows a typical piezo-resistive behavior with high strain sensitivity. The gauge factors (GF) calculated at low strain of 0-4% and high strain of 8-10% are 8.7 and 18.5, respectively, which are much higher than that of the traditional metallic strain sensor (GF around 2). The wire-shaped CT/PDMS composite sensor shows excellent response to cyclic tensile loading within the strain range of 0-10%, the frequency range of 0.01-10 Hz, to up to 2000 cycles. The potential of the wire senor as wearable strain sensor is demonstrated by the finger motion and blood pulse monitoring. Featured by the low costs of cotton wire and PDMS resin, the simple structure and fabrication technique, as well as high performance with miniaturized size, the wire-shaped sensor based on CT/PDMS composite is believed to have a great potential for application in wearable electronics for human health and motion monitoring.

Original languageBritish English
Article number45013
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2017


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