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The Bionic Bra: Using electromaterials to sense and modify breast support to enhance active living

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Although the most supportive sports bras can control breast motion and associated breast pain, they are

    frequently deemed uncomfortable to wear and, as a result, many women report exercise bra discomfort. Given that

    exercise bra discomfort is associated with decreased levels of physical activity, there is a pertinent need to develop

    innovative solutions to address this problem.

    Objectives: This research aimed to evaluate the use of electromaterial sensors and artificial muscle technology to

    create a bra that was capable of detecting increases in breast motion and then responding with increased breast support

    to enhance active living.

    Methods: The research involved two phases: (i) evaluating sensors suitable for monitoring and providing feedback on

    changes in the amplitude and frequency of breast motion, and (ii) evaluating an actuator capable of changing breast

    support provided by a bra during activity.

    Results: When assessed in isolation, the developed technologies were capable of sensing breast motion and actuating to

    provide some additional breast support.

    Conclusions: The challenge now lies in integrating both technologies into a functional sports bra prototype, and

    assessing this prototype in a controlled biomechanical analysis to provide a breast support solution that will enable

    women to enjoy active living in comfort.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Steele, J. R., Gho, S. A., Campbell, T. E., Richardson, C. J., Beirne, S., Spinks, G. M. & Wallace, G. G. (2018). The Bionic Bra: Using electromaterials to sense and modify breast support to enhance active living. Journal Of Rehabilitation And Assistive Technologies Engineering, 5 1-9.

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Background: Although the most supportive sports bras can control breast motion and associated breast pain, they are

    frequently deemed uncomfortable to wear and, as a result, many women report exercise bra discomfort. Given that

    exercise bra discomfort is associated with decreased levels of physical activity, there is a pertinent need to develop

    innovative solutions to address this problem.

    Objectives: This research aimed to evaluate the use of electromaterial sensors and artificial muscle technology to

    create a bra that was capable of detecting increases in breast motion and then responding with increased breast support

    to enhance active living.

    Methods: The research involved two phases: (i) evaluating sensors suitable for monitoring and providing feedback on

    changes in the amplitude and frequency of breast motion, and (ii) evaluating an actuator capable of changing breast

    support provided by a bra during activity.

    Results: When assessed in isolation, the developed technologies were capable of sensing breast motion and actuating to

    provide some additional breast support.

    Conclusions: The challenge now lies in integrating both technologies into a functional sports bra prototype, and

    assessing this prototype in a controlled biomechanical analysis to provide a breast support solution that will enable

    women to enjoy active living in comfort.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Steele, J. R., Gho, S. A., Campbell, T. E., Richardson, C. J., Beirne, S., Spinks, G. M. & Wallace, G. G. (2018). The Bionic Bra: Using electromaterials to sense and modify breast support to enhance active living. Journal Of Rehabilitation And Assistive Technologies Engineering, 5 1-9.

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom