WEARPLEX is a multidisciplinary research and innovation action with the overall aim to integrate printed electronics with flexible and wearable textile-based biomedical multi-pad electrodes. It aims to answer the growing need for userfriendly electrodes for pervasive measurement of electrophysiological signals and application of electrical stimulation. It focuses on the development of the printable electronics and manufacturing processes for stretchable textile based multi-pad electrodes with integrated logic circuits that enable a significant increase in the number of electrode pads (channels) and facilitate the creation of new products in the sectors of medical electronics and life-style. The advanced printed electronics integrated in WEARPLEX electrodes will allow the individual pads to be connected in arbitrary configurations to the output leads of the electrode. Therefore, the pads will be flexibly organized into several virtual electrodes of arbitrary position, shape and size that can be connected to any standard multi-channel recording and stimulation system. In addition, software methods will be developed for automatic calibration of these virtual electrodes, to detect stimulation/recording hotspots and adjust the virtual electrodes accordingly. Therefore, the WEARPLEX project will lead to a new generation of smart electrodes that will be able to adapt simultaneously to the user (wearable and stretchable garment), recording/stimulation scenario (movement type and target muscles) and recording/stimulation system (number of channels). This is a paradigm shift in designing the recording and stimulation systems, as the switching electronics is shifted from the custom-made stimulator/recording device to the smart electrode, leading to a universal solution compatible with any system.
The concept for the WEARPLEX project is shown here:
The project is progressing well and is now in the final stages of development, having passed an Alpha and Beta stage ending each with a dissemination workshop.
We have 3 demonstrator videos to showcase the current state of the WEARPLEX project at the point of the Beta workshop in April 2021:
EMG demonstrator consisting of electrode structures printed on fabric:
The second demonstrator shows the printed OECT circuits used in stimulation control with printed electrodes:
The final demonstrator video shows the embedded stimulator and recording system for WEARPLEX:
More detail on what else was shown at the Beta workshop can be seen in the Dissemination section of this site.
A poster showing a summary of the key aspects of the project can be downloaded below in the attachments.
WEARPLEX is funded under the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research program via the ICT-02-2018 Flexible and Wearable Electronics call. It is a 3 year project starting on 1st of January 2019 and running until 31st December 2021. There are 10 project partners and their details can be found on the Partners page of this site; the overall coordinator of the project is the University of Southampton in the UK.