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IIT-Kharagpur Team Develops Wearable Technology From Silk

KOLKATA:  Just imagine India-made smart textiles that can sense what goes on around you, store data and communicate for necessary action! Well, scientists have inched closer to indigenously built wearable electronic devices, thanks to unique properties of silk.

A team of experts at the Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur has fashioned a hybrid material based on silk protein called silk fibroin.
This novel material has the potential to spawn prototype textile-based smart electronic devices for soldiers and defence personnel as well as for biomedical applications.
"We have designed a hybrid photo detector using zinc oxide nanostructures on gold nanoparticle-embedded silk protein for applications that combine electronics and light," Samit K. Ray, currently officiating as the Director of S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (on lien), told IANS.
A photo detector operates by converting light signals to a voltage or current.
"The hybrid material can store data and can detect light, both in the ultraviolet and visible wavelength range, thereby offering greater sensitivity and scope of detection," Mr Ray said.
The USP of the hybrid material is its flexibility, stretchability, biocompatibility and biodegradability.
"These properties are due to a combination of silk fibroin and semiconducting zinc oxide in presence of gold nanoparticles," Mr Ray noted.