Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Gore helps start-up explore smart fabrics for digital health

Steve Rogerson
March 27, 2018



Delaware-based WL Gore & Associates is collaborating with digital health start-up Bonbouton to explore materials for advanced sensor technology and enable practical smart fabrics for assistive apparel and digital health applications.
 
Bonbouton is a New York City-based team of innovators in inkjet-printed, low-cost graphene temperature sensors. With technology licensed from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Bonbouton specialises in microsensor technology, developing mechanically flexible and molecularly thin sensors for monitoring skin temperature with graphene oxide.
 
The initial phase of the Gore-Bonbouton agreement will focus on collaborative research in the area of temperature sensing materials. This explorative process will lay a foundation for future applications of sensor technology and conductive inks in digital health, chronic care management and smart fabrics.
 
"Bonbouton is an ideal partner," said Paul Campbell, co-leader of the Gore Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. “Its technology shows enormous potential for expanding Gore materials into digital health applications and other markets. Bonbouton is widely and well regarded for its potential in graphene as a sensing modality. We look forward to collaborating with them both from a research and business standpoint."
 
The Bonbouton-Gore joint development agreement is evidence of Gore's continuing mission to foster innovation by providing insight and support for start-ups in the digital health arena. Gore aims to help these organisations with some of the toughest challenges in advanced materials development by offering deep expertise, co-working space and access to versatile materials. The Gore Innovation Center offers a prototyping facility where start-ups, researchers, customers and corporations can collaborate and innovate.
 
"Our work with Gore, and specifically the innovation centre, is an exciting development," said Linh Le, CEO and founder of Bonbouton. “Its materials and expertise are what will allow us to improve on existing technology and take development to the next level. Gore is known for a science-backed approach to comfort and wearability. Coupled with its collaborative resources and exploratory mindset, this makes Gore a model partner."
 
Bonbouton designs inkjet-printed, low-cost graphene wearable sensors for constant and wireless health monitoring. Bonbouton's graphene oxide sensors deliver flexible, thin and comfortable ways to detect a variety of pathophysiological developments, including fever, exhaustion and blister formation prior to diabetic foot ulcer development.
 
"We are thrilled to be working with Bonbouton to explore our combined potential, especially in applications where it can enhance quality of life for those with chronic conditions," said Linda Elkins, co-leader of the Gore Innovation Center. "Gore has a long-standing tradition of pushing boundaries in the material science space, and we aim to lend that expertise to organisations like Bonbouton, whose mission is to improve lives through smart fabrics and advanced sensor technology."
 
The Gore Innovation Center is an 1000 square metre co-innovation space and lab. Start-ups, researchers, corporations and customers can collaborate with Gore innovators on advanced materials in medical, fabrics, automotive, aerospace, industrial, electronics and digital health applications to create business opportunities and value.
 
Gore is a materials science company founded in 1958. Headquartered in Newark, Delaware, Gore employs approximately 9500 people and generates annual revenues that exceed $3bn.