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Diaper which signals time for change by Chinese team

29 Apr '19
2 min read

Scientists from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) has developed an innovative diaper design which visually signals it is time for diaper change even in darkness. For every new parent, it can be a challenge to know exactly when to a change baby’s diaper. Changing too often seems unnecessary but if not prompt enough, a diaper rash may result.

The new diaper design potentially rids new parents of this inconvenience, making a diaper change a simpler decision. Compared to existing diapers, this new design does not only visually signal babies’ urine but also stool, even in darkness.

This diaper design features a seamless pattern of fireflies with stars, and this is where the technology lies. The body of the firefly is made of a small transparent window, where parents can notice easily if the diaper is soiled.

Star elements are coated with ink and chlorophyll fluorescent paint. In darkness, the star glows when the diaper is wet, as the ink gets washed away, revealing the chlorophyll fluorescent paint underneath. Parents can then take a closer look at the transparent windows to see if their new-borns have pooed, without turning the lights on.

Extracted from seaweed, the chlorophyll fluorescent paint is safe and gentle on an infant's sensitive skin, says the design team.

Named Easy Diaper, the innovative design beat thousands of competitors to win gold at the 2018 International Design Awards. It was co-developed by UNNC graduates Qiushi Wang and Jinzhao LI (both students of Product Design and Manufacturing) and their supervisor, Dr. Xu Sun.

The team said their inspiration came from Sun’s own maternity experience.

“The majority of current diaper designs only signal a baby’s urine, while the Easy Diaper can tell more than that,” Sun said, “Day or night, it indicates the urgency of a diaper change as straightforwardly as a traffic light. It should ease panic for many new parents like me.”

While working towards a patent, the team is also applying for a grant to support prototyping. Scientists hope that the new diaper design will one day be a real market product. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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