A stretchable romper suit developed by Fraunhofer researchers could help prevent sudden infant death by monitoring infants’ breathing, according to a Fraunhofer press release. A stretchable electronic circuit board fitted onto the romper suit is equipped with sensors that warn parents when a child stops breathing. The circuit board is made from polyurethane, also known as PU. PU is commonly used for coating surfaces, as a sealant or as a cushioning board. PU is a cost-efficient material, but it can be difficult to make printed circuit boards with it because since it’s stretchable, the circuit boards tend to change shape when they are machine-manufactured.
To resolve this issue, researchers developed a support system and placed the PU boards and machined-processed them before removing the system. The support system enables the precise placement of components, in contract to when using textile-based electronics. The circuit board conforms to the contours of the body, making it hardly noticeable, according to the press release.