ELECTROSOCKS – Development of compression tubular knitted fabrics with electrostimulation
The ELECTROSOCKS project (Project NSRF No. 2013/038562), sponsored by Barcelcom Textiles SA (Portugal), is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) through the National Strategic Reference Framework (QREN).
The Electrosocks project, created from the partnership between the Barcelcom and Fibrenamics Platform from University of Minho, aimed at developing a portfolio of personalized and multifunctional prototypes for the health and well-being, particularly for elite athletes. Thus, this project was divided into three concepts: Comfort, Oriented forces and Electrostimulation. These concepts were worked individually but after optimization, they were combined to impart the prototypes the desired multifunctionality. This characteristic is important to prevent and/or help on the recovery from sport-induced injuries such as sprains, muscle contractures, Achilles’ heel tendinitis, stretches, among others. The developed prototypes were comprised of functional materials and structures, allowing for the compression and electrostimulation of well defined body areas depending on the affected part (ankle, toes, sole), promoting return of lymph and blood current at the same time that it increases the stimulation of the muscle as a way for a fast recuperation. In addition to the functions connected to the comfort, such as thermoregulation and moisture management, prototypes also included electrostimulation at defined places in order to improve the blood circulation and to avoid the appearance of swelling and pain as well as for prevention of all symptoms associated with such pathologies. In this context, a prototype was developed for each body area mentioned.
The objectives of this project were the development of three groups of prototypes that may be combined in order to meet the needs of different sport categories, taking into account the following features:
– Moisture management by the functional materials and structures
– Thermoregulation by the functional materials and structures
– Ergonomics through the control of multidirectional and oriented forces
– Control of lower limb movement through the control of multidirectional and oriented forces
– Muscle relaxation by electrostimulation
– Muscle Activation by electrostimulation
A portfolio of personalized and multifunctional prototypes for the area of health and well-being for elite athletes was developed.