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Trisha Andrew - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Trisha Andrew

Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Trisha Andrew's lab creates smart garments and wearable textiles that lets people monitor their health data using their clothing

Expertise (5)

Smart Garments

Wearable Technologies

Garment-Integrated Technologies

Solar Textiles

Textile Electronics


Trisha L. Andrew directs the Wearable Electronics Lab, a multi-disciplinary research team that produces garment-integrated technologies using reactive vapor deposition.

In 2023, she led a team that solved the 80-year old quest to make a synthetic textile modeled on polar bear fur.

She is a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow, a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, a L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellow, and was named as one Forbes’ magazine “30 Under 30” Innovators in Energy.

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UMass Amherst Answers the Question: How Does Polar Bear Fur Work? Retail Connected | Five questions with Trisha Andrew, the scientist creating smart apparel Research Spotlight | Trisha Andrew | Why Angstrom?


Education (2)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Organic and Materials Chemistry

University of Washington: B.S., Chemistry

Select Recent Media Coverage (6)

Why Does the Same Temperature Feel Hotter or Colder in Different Places?

Scientific American  online


Trisha Andrew, professor of chemistry at UMass Amherst, discusses how fabrics behave differently in an article about why the same temperature can feel different. “Unlike synthetics, which are mostly plastics, natural materials actually absorb a small amount of moisture, drying out the air in between layers so that you have less of a conductive channel to radiate heat away from your body,” she says.

cold weather

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The best stain removers to add to your laundry routine, according to experts

NBC News  online


Trisha Andrew, professor of chemistry at UMass Amherst, is among the experts who contributed to an article selecting the best laundry stain removers.

laundry stain removing

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ScienceNewsExplores  online


A new fabric traps heat by mimicking polar bears’ pelts. Polar bears have black skin covered by fur that looks white. But that fur isn’t like normal hair, says Trisha Andrew. “It has a very unique structure.” A materials engineer, Andrew works at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

polar bear

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Scientists unravel the secrets of polar bear fur

Earth.com  online


In a groundbreaking development, three engineers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by Trisha Andrew, have successfully created a synthetic fabric that emulates the properties of polar bear fur, concluding an 80-year-long quest to develop such a textile.

polar bear

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New Polar Bear-Inspired Fabric Is 30% Lighter Than Cotton and Far Warmer

SciTechDaily  online


“But the fur is only half the equation,” says the paper’s senior author, Trisha L. Andrew, associate professor of chemistry and adjunct in chemical engineering at UMass Amherst. “The other half is the polar bears’ black skin.”

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Mass Appeal UMass developing smart tech wearables for better health monitoring



The availability of wearable tech devices, like a smart watch, has grown considerably over the last few years and some researchers at UMass Amherst are creating cutting edge technology to make these devices crucial in ensuring good health for all of us. Trisha Andrew, a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, is with me now to talk about what they are working on.

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Select Publications (2)

Solar thermal textiles for on-body radiative energy collection inspired by polar animals

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Wesley Viola, Peiyao Zhao, and Trisha L. Andrew


Humans use textiles to maintain thermal homeostasis amidst environmental extremes but known textiles have limited thermal windows. There is evidence that polar-dwelling animals have evolved a different mechanism of thermoregulation by using optical polymer materials to achieve an on-body “greenhouse” effect. Here, we design a bilayer textile to mimic these adaptations. Two ultralightweight fabrics with complementary optical functions, a polypropylene visible-transparent insulator and a nylon visible-absorber–infrared-reflector coated with a conjugated polymer, perform the same putative function as polar bear hair and skin, respectively.

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Humidity‐Resistant, Broad‐Range Pressure Sensors for Garment‐Integrated Health, Motion, and Grip Strength Monitoring in Natural Environments

Advanced Materials Technologies

S. Zohreh Homayounfar, Ali Kiaghadi, Deepak Ganesan, Trisha L. Andrew


Wearable electromechanical sensors are essential to improve health monitoring and off‐site point‐of‐care applications. However, their practicality is restricted by narrow ranges of detection, failure to simultaneously sense static and dynamic pressures, and low durability. Here, an all‐fabric pressure sensor with high sensitivity in a broad range of pressures, from subtle heart pulses to body posture, exceeding that of previously‐reported sensors is introduced.

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