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  1. Abstract

    Soft polymer‐based sensors as an integral part of textile structures have attracted considerable scientific and commercial interest recently because of their potential use in healthcare, security systems, and other areas. While electronic sensing functionalities can be incorporated into textiles at one or more of the hierarchical levels of molecules, fibers, yarns, or fabrics, arguably a more practical and inconspicuous means to introduce the desired electrical characteristics is at the fiber level, using processes that are compatible to textiles. Here, a prototype multimodal and multifunctional sensor array formed within a woven fabric structure using bicomponent fibers with ordered insulating and conducting segments is reported. The multifunctional characteristics of the sensors are successfully demonstrated by measuring tactile, tensile, and shear deformations, as well as wetness and biopotential. While the unobtrusive integration of sensing capabilities offers possibilities to preserve all desirable textile qualities, this scaled‐up fiber‐based approach demonstrates the potential for scalable and facile manufacturability of practical e‐textile products using low‐cost roll‐to‐roll processing of large‐area flexible sensor systems and can be remarkably effective in advancing the field of e‐textiles.

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