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ACS Nano. 2016 Mar 22;10(3):3042-68. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b08176. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Nanotechnology in Textiles.

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Harvard Medical School and Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital , 65 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.
Department of Engineering Physics, École Polytechnique de Montréal , Montréal, Québec H3T 1J4, Canada.
Biomaterials Innovation Research Center, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.
Nanotechnology Laboratory, School of Engineering Sciences, University of Birmingham , Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States.
Department of Fiber Science, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University , Ithaca, New York 14850, United States.
Department of Physics, King Abdulaziz University , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Bioindustrial Technologies, College of Animal Bioscience and Technology, Konkuk University , Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea.


Increasing customer demand for durable and functional apparel manufactured in a sustainable manner has created an opportunity for nanomaterials to be integrated into textile substrates. Nanomoieties can induce stain repellence, wrinkle-freeness, static elimination, and electrical conductivity to fibers without compromising their comfort and flexibility. Nanomaterials also offer a wider application potential to create connected garments that can sense and respond to external stimuli via electrical, color, or physiological signals. This review discusses electronic and photonic nanotechnologies that are integrated with textiles and shows their applications in displays, sensing, and drug release within the context of performance, durability, and connectivity. Risk factors including nanotoxicity, nanomaterial release during washing, and environmental impact of nanotextiles based on life cycle assessments have been evaluated. This review also provides an analysis of nanotechnology consolidation in the textiles market to evaluate global trends and patent coverage, supplemented by case studies of commercial products. Perceived limitations of nanotechnology in the textile industry and future directions are identified.


carbon nanotubes; energy storage; fabrics; fashion; fiber optics; fibers; graphene; nanoparticles; nanotechnology; nanotoxicity


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