Stretchable Electronics Comes to Market

  • February 2014
  • -
  • IDTechEx Ltd
  • -
  • 157 pages

Stretchable electronics concerns electrical and electronic circuits and combinations of these that are elastically or inelastically stretchable by more than a few percent while retaining function. For that, they tend to be laminar and usually thin. No definitions of electronics and electrical sectors are fully watertight but it is convenient to consider stretchable electronics as a part of printed electronics, a term taken to include printed and potentially printed (eg thin film) electronics and electrics. This is because the cost, space and weight reduction sought in most cases is best achieved by printing and printing-like technologies.

The applications targeted are primarily in healthcare, including health-related monitoring and management for military purposes and sport. About 40% of the research and commercialisation of stretchable electronics takes place in the USA, with the UK, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Korea and Japan, also making a broad impact. This report examines who is bringing what to market and why and it analyses where the most promising opportunities lie. It scopes the emerging stretchable technologies, many of which promise huge improvements, opening yet more potential markets.

Main areas the report covers

Examination of how stretchable technology fits into the printed electronics and allied scenes, the materials and applications that look most promising and the lessons of success and failure. Profile of 55 organisations that have made significant advances.

Who should buy this report?

Those developing, manufacturing and selling printed electronics and those that seek to do so. Those wishing to do product integration involving printed electronics. Those seeking to improve procedures, capability, safety cost and efficiency particularly in healthcare, sport, military, automotive and consumer electronics and electrics sectors. Investors and potential investors in leading edge electronics and electric companies. Materials scientists, electronics and electrical industry professionals.


At this early stage forecasting is difficult but we give some indications for the next ten years and reveal many key trends.

Table Of Contents

1.1. Forecasts
1.2. Definition and purpose
1.3. Commercial success
1.4. Unbalanced value chain
1.5. Four types of stretchable electronics
1.6. Categories of printed electronics and the place of stretchable
1.7. The three most promising types
1.8. Too much emphasis on healthcare?
1.9. Popular approach of islands
1.10. Extreme stretchability
1.11. Potential benefits
1.12. Activities by organisation
1.13. The market for printed electronics 2013-2023
1.14. The potential significance of flexible and stretchable electronics
1.15. Stretchability in order to manufacture formed parts
2.1. Ubiquitous electronics
2.2. Characteristics of the new electronics
2.3. Demographic timebomb
2.4. The evolving toolkit
2.5. Very different from the traditional value chain
2.6. Stretchable electronics
2.7. Stretchable, bendable electronics - a stretchable highway for light
2.8. Foldable electronics
2.9. Removing pressure points from electronic skin patches and bandages
2.10. Printing sensors
2.11. Wide repertoire
3.1. Active monitoring hardware
3.2. Birubin blanket
3.3. Controlling brain seizures
3.4. Epidermal electronics
3.5. Heart monitoring and control
3.5.1. Driving defibrillator and pacemaker implants
3.5.2. Mapping heart action and providing therapy
3.5.3. Bio-integrated electronics for cardiac therapy
3.6. Medical micropackaging
3.7. Monitoring compression garments
3.8. Monitoring babies
3.9. Monitoring shoe insoles of those with diabetes
3.10. Monitoring vital signs with smart textiles
3.11. Stretchable electronic fibers: supercapacitors
3.12. Non-invasive sensing and analysis of sweat
3.13. Renal function monitoring
3.14. Remote monitoring and telemetry of vital signs
3.14.1. Body Area Networks BAN
3.14.2. Skin sensors with telemetry
4.1. Wearable electronics
4.1.1. Energy harvester
4.1.2. Stretchable watch
4.2. Sport and leisure
4.2.1. Electronic eyeball camera
4.2.2. Baseball demonstrator of stretchable transistors
4.3. Automotive electronics
4.4. Haptic actuators for consumer and industrial electronics
4.5. Heating circuits
4.6. Light emitting textiles
4.7. Stretchable supercapacitors
5.1. Morphology and geometry
5.2. Basic choices of construction
5.3. Extensibility sought
5.4. Choice of electronic sophistication
5.5. Rigid islands as an option
5.5.1. Nanowire springs - a possible next generation
5.6. Stretchable materials
5.6.1. Example - transparent skin-like pressure sensor
5.6.2. Example - First polymer LED that stays lit up when stretched and scrunched
5.7. Possible stretchable technology evolution
5.8. Printed and stretchable electronics need new design rules
6.1. Stretchable conductors
6.1.1. Options
6.1.2. Stretchable carbon nanotube conductors
6.1.3. Stretchable conductors on textiles
6.2. Stretchable electronic and electrical components
6.2.1. UNIST Korea new transparent, stretchable electrode in 2013
6.3. The first fully stretchable OLED
6.4. Energy harvesting
6.4.1. Energy harvesting compared with alternatives
6.4.2. Power requirements of different devices
6.4.3. Harvesting options to meet these requirements
6.4.4. Ubiquitous photovoltaics
6.4.5. Sensor power requirements
6.4.6. Stanford's new stretchable solar cells
6.4.7. Engineers monitor heart health using paper-thin flexible 'skin'
6.4.8. Trend towards multiple energy harvesting
6.4.9. Timeline
6.5. Stretchable batteries
6.6. Electroactive polymers
7.1. ACREO Sweden
7.2. AIST Japan
7.3. Artificial Muscle USA
7.4. Air Force Laboratory USA
7.5. Avery Dennison USA
7.6. Body Media USA
7.7. Cambrios Technologies USA
7.8. Canatu
7.9. East Japan Railway Company Japan
7.10. École polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL)Switzerland
7.11. Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute ETRI Korea
7.12. Fraunhofer IZM
7.13. French National Centre for Scientific Research CNRS France
7.14. Freudenberg Germany
7.15. G24 Innovations UK
7.16. Georgia Institute of Technology USA
7.17. Holst Centre Netherlands
7.18. Idaho National Laboratory USA
7.19. Imec Belgium
7.20. Imperial College UK
7.21. Infinite Corridor Technology ICT
7.22. IntAct USA
7.23. ITRI Taiwan
7.24. Johannes Kepler University Austria
7.25. Korea Electronics Technology Institute Korea
7.26. Lockheed Martin Corporation USA
7.27. Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA
7.28. MC10 USA
7.29. Michigan Technological University USA
7.30. Micromuscle Sweden
7.31. Nokia Research Centre Cambridge UK
7.32. Northwestern University USA
7.33. Palo Alto Research Center PARC USA
7.34. Pelikon UK
7.35. Philips Netherlands
7.36. Physical Optics Corporation USA
7.37. POWERLeap USA
7.38. PowerFilm USA
7.39. Shimmer Research USA
7.40. Simon Fraser University Canada
7.41. Smartex Italy
7.42. Southampton University Hospital UK
7.43. Stanford University USA
7.44. Sungkyunkwang University Korea
7.45. T-ink
7.46. Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan
7.47. Tyndall National Institute Ireland
7.48. University of Cambridge UK
7.49. University of Gent Belgium
7.50. University of Heidelberg Germany
7.51. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign USA
7.52. University of Michigan USA
7.53. University of Pittsburgh USA
7.54. University of Princeton USA
7.55. University of Tokyo
7.56. Uppsala University Sweden
7.57. Urgo France
7.58. Verhaert, Belgium

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