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IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference begins Sept. 26

Industry News | July 24, 2017 | By:

IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La., Sept. 26–28, will have an expanded program for industry professionals in the advanced textiles field. Education will feature four tracks: Medical, Military, Smart Fabrics and Testing. Attendees are free to move between tracks for specific presentations of interest, and some sessions are part of more than one track.

Medical Track

Sponsored by Elkem Silicones (formerly Bluestar Silicones) and moderated by Diana Wagner, Wyss Institute, Harvard University, this track will cover new textile technologies for the medical market. Biomimicry is featured in two sessions.

  • “Nature-Inspired Moisture Management and Topical Drug Delivery,” will be presented by David Gray, founder of MedTextra LLC; Chris Webley, textile engineer at MedTextra; and Marie O’Mahoney, O’Mahony Consultancy. Applying the principles of hygroscopy to everyday textiles, MedTextra has developed textiles using bio-mimicry inspired moisturizing.
  • “Biomimesis in a Fiber Delivers Adaptive Breathability,” presented by Jeff Dugan, co-founder and vice president, research, Fiber Innovation Technology (FIT), discusses the biological phenomenon known as the “pinecone effect,” used in developing a new fiber from FIT.
  • “Fabric-based Actuators and Functional Apparel Design for Soft Robotic Glove,” presented by Diana Wagner, senior functional apparel designer, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, will explain how the “Grip Glove,” a soft, textile-based wearable robot, can provide assistance to users with weak grip strength.
  • “Advanced Textile Solutions for Medicine—Inspired by Nature’s Living Textiles,” will be offered by Dr. Melissa Knothe Tate, chair of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales. It will discuss the foundational studies underpinning the development of a new generation of advanced medical textiles and address the question, “What if our medical devices and implants were made of textiles as smart as our own organs and tissues?
  • “Enabling the Future of Medicine through Controlled, Sustained Delivery of Biologics and Pharmaceuticals from Biodegradable Fiber” will be presented by Dr. Kevin Nelson, founder and CSO of TissueGen Inc. New fiber technology is enabling drug-loading of pharmaceutical and biological agents for use in biodegradable implantable devices to improve patient outcomes – and at lower cost. This session explores advancements in extrusion technology, which are enabling the next generation of drug delivery, and medical applications that stand to be most significantly impacted.
  • “Sustainable Coatings for Medical Textiles,” presented by Bentley Mah, senior technical sales for medical and healthcare solutions, Covestro AG, will discuss new raw materials for sustainable, water-borne textile coatings with good haptics and enhanced stability towards disinfectants.
  • “The Evolution of Medical Textiles for Vascular Surgical Applications” is the title of a presentation by Fitzroy Brown, OEM technical sales manager, implantable textiles, Bard Peripheral Vascular OEM Products. This session will discuss the evolution of surgical textiles and explore the growing opportunities to use them for vascular surgical applications. It will also provide an overview of critical issues that a medical device OEM should consider when choosing a textile manufacturer.

Military Track

Sponsored by Bondcote Corp. and Highland Industries, these sessions moderated by Scott Crothers, First State Mfg., will focus on how to do business with the military, and include:

  • “Making Sense of a DoD Budget” presented by Ron Houle, president of Pivot Step Consultants. With changes in U.S. defense resourcing and priorities likely, this comprehensive overview will be helpful in understanding what to expect in the next two to five years.
  • “Defense Procurement and the Berry Amendment” will be presented by Dr. Jeff Grover, senior procurement analyst, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and provide a summary of the DoD procurement organization, system and policies; an overview of domestic preference procurement requirements; and an in-depth discussion regarding the restrictions of the Berry Amendment and its impact on the DoD and industry.
  • “Understanding ITAR and the Future of Export Controls on Advanced Textiles,” presented by Nathaniel Bolin, counsel, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom offers insights into export control laws and policies affecting trade and investment in advanced textiles, including the current state of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Control Reform.
  • “The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute—A New Industry/Government Partnership to Meet Future Defense and Commercial Requirements,” presented by Stephen Luckowski, its program manager, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), will showcase Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a nonprofit based at MIT, and cover AFFOA’s vision and the work being done from a technical, workforce development and prototype manufacturing perspective.
  • “Developing Advanced Materials for Chemical and Biological Protection” will be presented by Dr. Charles Bass, chief, Protection and Hazard Mitigation Branch, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Developing advanced technologies that go into Personal Protective Ensembles (PPE) is of particular importance to this agency, which is investing in technologies that improve protection while increasing comfort and mission performance.
  • “The U.S. Military is Moving E-Textiles to the Front Lines – Is Your Company Prepared to Meet Their Needs?” This presentation by Chris Jorgensen, director, Technology Transfer, IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries; Dr. Benjamin Leever, advanced development team lead, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, will discuss advanced wearable systems for U.S. military personnel, including integrated robotic muscles, health monitoring, and other technologies.

For information on the Testing Track see “Testing program to be offered at IFAI Expo,” and For more on the Smart Fabrics Track, see “IFAI’s 2017 Smart Fabrics Program” and Details about special events and exhibits on the show floor, as well as registration information, can also be found on this website.

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