Optical Fiber Pajamas Used to Treat Jaundice In Babies
Naked, alone, and with their eyes enclosed for protection: this is how babies, when they are being taken care of for jaundice, lie in incubators. Irradiation with blue glow in an incubator is essential since toxic decomposition items of the hemoglobin blood pigment are dispersed in newborns with jaundice in the skin. Scientists of the Empa division Textiles and Biomimetic Membranes have now considerably enhanced the “not so child friendly” process by uniting the therapy with the requirements of the babies: The group, headed by Luciano Boesel, designed glowing pajamas for babies that convert the therapy into a good experience.
In order to carry this out, the material scientists made textiles with conductive optically fibers sewn into them. Battery-powered LEDs provide as a source of light. Jointly with usual thread, the optical fibers are sewn into a satin material that spreads the supply of light consistently all over the fabric, as the scientists lately posted in the Biomedical Optics Express trade journal.
With a width of almost 160 microns, the measurements of the optical fibers correspond with that of usual threads. The team of Boesel showed the suitable angle at which the threads should be twisted at the time of weaving so that the blue glow remains in the beneficial range of wavelength of almost 470 nanometers but is transmitted onto the skin of the baby, more willingly than remaining in the fabric. The best outcome was accomplished in a weaving procedure with a supposed 6/6 bond, which makes a satin fabric. Here, the optical threads have specifically a handful cross points with the conventional thread and are twisted in a perfect method so the light is transmitted consistently across the skin.
The photonic fabric woven in this way can be converted into a sleeping bag or a romper so the little baby is covered, and can be fed and held. And since the pajamas can be made for commercial application so they only give out light inward, onto the skin of the baby, it is no longer essential for the baby to wear an irritating defensive mask. Dissimilar to the incubator, where the therapy light shines on the face of the baby, the light pajamas’ shortwave radiation does not reach the sensitive eyes of the baby.
Lead author of the publication, Maike Quandt, claimed to the media in an interview that the illuminated clothes are also appropriate for daily wear.