Bonbouton, Liquid X join forces to develop sensor-enabled textiles

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Digital health startup Bonbouton has formed a partnership with Liquid X Printed Metals to build temperature and pressure sensors directly on textiles using additive manufacturing techniques.

It’s the second such partnership Bonbouton has forged in the past several months. In March, the smart-clothing company joined forces with W.L. Gore and Associates to create advanced sensor technology to develop better smart fabrics and digital health applications.

Bonbouton, based in New York City, uses inkjet-printable graphene technology licensed from the Stevens Institute of Technology to develop thin and mechanically flexible sensors for wearable physiology monitoring. Bonbouton’s graphene-based sensors deliver flexible, thin and comfortable solutions that detect a variety of pathophysiological developments, including fever, exhaustion and blister formation prior to the development of diabetic foot ulcers.

Liquid X (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is an advanced material manufacturer of functional metallic inks. The company partners with electronics manufacturers to develop and print functional components used in devices such as resistive heaters, NFC antennas and reflective mirror-like finishes.

Through this collaboration, Liquid X will use its proprietary particle-free inks to use inkjet technology to print interconnects directly on textiles. These interconnects carry signals from a graphene-sensing layer back to the device hardware, where the data can be analyzed. Liquid X’s ability to metalize textile fibers reduces steps in the manufacturing process of electronically integrated textiles and employs a low-cost, scalable manufacturing method widely utilized in the textile industry, according to the company.

“We are excited to be working with Bonbouton, bringing two innovative teams and two innovative technologies together to develop solutions for evolving opportunities in medical applications,” said Greg Babe, Liquid X president & CEO, in a prepared statement.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Liquid X to complement with our core sensor technology and to initially explore business opportunities in a much-needed wearable medical market,” said Bonbouton founder and CEO Linh Le. “We have seen many companies trying to claim the durable conductive trace on textiles but the Liquid X technology truly stands out and we share the same passion for the future of printed electronics.”

The two companies expect to have prototype models developed and tested for industry by 2019Flex, a flexible hybrid electronics, sensors, and MEMs conference scheduled for Monterey, Calif. in February 2019.

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