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01 Mar 2015 Science

Development of multidirectional compression knitwear for application in medical devices

The research and development studies to be carried out in association with the Doctoral Program in Textile Engineering, aims at developing weft knitted structures with multi-compression capabilities for use in medical devices.

This development is focused on understanding the behaviour of mesh fabric with elastomers for applications in medical devices in order to create innovative and functional products for the health sector. With this study it will be possible to design devices with capacity to exert compressive forces with different orientations, which may be used in various situations in health and well-being such as posture correction, movements correction, therapeutic aid for physiotherapy, venous compression, among many others.

In order to fulfil the proposed objectives, the experimental plan involves the assessment of the mechanical performance of different weft knitted structures involving a combination of various types of loop using elastomeric materials to allow obtaining the desired compression levels. The way in which the mesh loops are structured, as well as the position of elastane in the structure, will make an influence on the device compression directions. In order to ensure an effective performance validation it will be developed a test model that mimics the human torso, monitorized by pressure sensors, for the evaluation of the pressure in each specific area of ​​the body.

The knitwear with multidirectional compression are of a high degree of innovation since the ones developed and marketed to date only provide circumferential compression, being an obvious limitation to the effectiveness of their use in medical devices.

This project is being carried out within the framework of the PhD studies of the researcher Juliana Cruz under the guidance of Professor Raul Fangueiro.

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