Tunable flow rate in textile-based materials utilising composite fibres
© 2020, © 2020 The Textile Institute. Fluid movement is critical in textile-based microfluidic devices with post-processing approaches commonly used to enhance the wicking rate of textile-based microfluidic devices. In this work, for the first time, we have demonstrated composite fibre approach as an effective, easy, tunable and cost-effective technique with long-lasting effect to change the fibres surface chemistry. This approach incorporates commercially sourced polyester yarns and a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) - liquid crystalline graphene oxide (LCGO) composite fibre integrated into a circular knitted structure. Our technique improves the mechanical properties of the resultant fibres and provides a facile route for tuning the wicking properties of textile-based microfluidics constructs. It was shown that the fluid moves up to six times faster in 3D knitted structures containing the composite fibre as compared to equivalent 3D knitted structures made of polyester yarns only, and the flow rate achievable was found to be proportional to the LCGO loading.