Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

AIyarn project (Bioinnovation)

AI-guided biohybrid assembly platform for e-textiles (Aalto University Bioinnovation Center project)

Full title of the project: AI-guided biohybrid assembly platform for e-textiles (Aalto University Bioinnovation Center project)


More about the project:

Electronic textiles, e-textiles or smart textiles are terms that are interchangeably used for digitally enhanced fabrics. The electronic components in e-textiles augment their aesthetic appeal or enable new functionality, like wearable electronics. Common problems hindering the commercialization of current e-textiles are durability (e.g., brittleness), user discomfort due to integrated bulky electronics, and sustainability. In AIyarn, we address these challenges by developing novel biomaterial-based yarns for e-textiles. This will be done by combining nanocellulose and flexuous plant-virus nanoparticles (VNPs) into a fully bio-based assembly line for conductive and piezoelectric yarns. 

AIyarn creates a highly-controllable biohybrid assembly line for functional e-textile yarns. Monofilaments – combining nanocellulose and flexuous virus nanoparticles that can independently act as a co-assembly platform for other functionalities – are drawn, and multifunctional textile yarns are fabricated by spinning specifically selected monofilaments. With machine learning, we optimize the mechanical and functional properties (e.g., conductivity, piezoelectricity). We also devise a machine-learning-based materials discovery approach to find optimal carbon compounds for co-assembly. AIyarn will produce novel biomaterial yarns and deliver a first use-case of AI for bioinnovations. 


Interdisciplinary collaboration 

In AIyarn, two young PIs combine their complementary expertise in biomaterials and computer science for the first time in a funded project. In this interdisciplinary project, machine learning techniques facilitate and accelerate biomaterials synthesis. Machine learning unlocks unprecedented opportunities for materials and process optimization, unveils previously unseen correlations between materials characteristics and functional properties, and aids in the discovery of new compounds. 


Scientific or societal impact 

To the best of our knowledge, AIyarn would deliver the first functional biohybrid material for e-textiles and provide sustainable options of smart textiles. Scientifically, AIyarn establishes a new paradigm of AI-guided biomaterials research and accelerated materials development. 


Bioinnovation aspect and application potential 

As a fundamental interdisciplinary project, AIyarn enables completely bio-based functional conductive and piezoelectric yarns. We will also create an alternative for Ag-coated conductive yarns commonly applied in current e-textiles. We believe that our biohybrid platform will significantly improve the flexibility and durability of Ag nanowire-based conductive yarns. This opens new opportunities for the ever-growing application areas of e-textiles. 


Contact information

Project team: 
Doctoral Candidate Matteo Iannacchero (CHEM MMD) ([email protected])
Professor Jaana Vapaavuori (CHEM MMD) ([email protected])
Professor Patrick Rinke (SCI CEST) ([email protected])


This project is a project of the Aalto University Bioinnovation Center which focuses on innovations in sustainable bio-based materials, especially on textiles and packaging. Its target is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and bioeconomy, and to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Finland. 

More about Bioinnovation Center's research


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