Combatting COVID-19 Pandemic with Sci & Tech Innovations

Grand Success of the 13th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium




The 13th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium Webinar was held on-line from July 8-10th with a focused theme on “Combatting COVID-19 Pandemic with Science and Technology Innovations”.  TBIS2020 aimed to launch a new global task force by bringing together world-leading experts to drive multidisciplinary research in the science of COVID-19 pandemic developments and technology innovations in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and digital health to combat pandemics. The conference drew over 340 participants globally from 17 countries/regions. 21 world-leading experts delivered plenary lectures on  8-9th July, addressing global health challenges identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and sharing their experiences in affected countries/ regions, presenting and discussing technology innovations in the fields of intelligent fibers, textile functional materials, electronic textile materials and wearable devices, as well as digital health technology that can be applied to personal protection, infection control, disease prevention, epidemic surveillance and pandemic control. In the final day of TBIS 2020, a special forum was organized to discuss international collaboration, where the International Digital Health and Intelligent Fibre Science and Technology Innovation Organization (IDH-IF-STIO) was formally established with a governing council elected by 40 representatives from globally from 17 countries/regions. Prof. Meifang Zhu of Donghua University (China), Member of Chinese Academy of Science, was elected as the Council Chair and Prof. Henry Yi Li of Manchester University was elected as the deputy Council Chair.


TBIS 2020 was hosted jointly by Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society (UK), State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials (SKLFPM) of Donghua University (China) and the University of Manchester (UK), with co-organization from ENSAIT (France), Xian Polytechnic University (China) and SFR-TSM (France). The supporting organizations include the Textile Institute (UK), China Textile Engineering Society (China), Association of British Chinese Professors (UK), Soochow University (China), Wuhan Textile University (China), EMPA (Switzerland), Hangzhou Gandao Intelligent Technology (China), Haier (China), SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services (Shanghai, China), NC State University (USA), Tongji Hospital (Wuhan, China) Global Science Press, etc.  


TBIS 2020 was co-chaired by Prof. Meifang Zhu, Member of Chinese Academy of Science, Dean of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Fiber Materials Modification (Donghua University), and Prof. Xianyi Zeng, ENSAIT (National Institute of Advanced Textile Engineers), France. Prof. Mu Yao, Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Xi’an Polytechnic University, acted as the Honorary Chairman of the International Science Committee, and Prof. Yi Li of the University of Manchester acted as the Chairman of the International Science Committee. 


The special focused theme of TBIS 2020: "Combatting COVID-19 Pandemic with Science and Technology Innovations" proved to be a resonant and fascinating topic, drawing over 340 participants globally from 17 countries/regions.  


On 8th July 2020, Minister Counselor (Science and Technology) Mr. Sunan Jiang and Minister Counsellor (Educational) Mr. Yongli Wang, Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the United Kingdom, Mu Yao of Xi’an Polytechnic University, Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Meifang Zhu of Donghua University, Member of Chinese Academy of Science, Vice Chairman of ABCP (Association of British Chinese Professors) Prof. Hongbiao Dong of the University of Leicester, and Prof. Ling Gao, President of Xi’an Polytechnic University, Prof. Guangwei Fu, Deputy Director of China Textile Information Center, Dr. Kanji Kajiwara, a world well-known Japanese scholar, Prof. Xianyi Zeng Director of ENSAIT National Institute of Advanced Textile Engineers in France, Prof. Weilin Xu of Wuhan Textile University and TBIS Chairman Prof. Yi Li of the University of Manchester, UK, delivered opening welcome speeches respectively. The ceremony concluded with a series of group photos being taken to commemorate the successful launch of the TBIS 2020 webinar.





“As TBIS 2020 is about to commence, we, on behalf of the Chinese embassy, offer our sincerest blessings to the conference. As the world fights against the coronavirus pandemic, it is heartwarming to see individuals, such as yourselves, face such challenges with vigor and perseverance. To be able to collaborate with such talented people from across the international community is a wonderful opportunity. As such, we offer our greatest respect to the organisers and to all those who have gathered here to speak, share, and contribute to this great symposium today.”

On top of their efforts to develop viral vaccines, research is being done on developing protective gear and improving detection, enabling a wearable method for the detection of blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, blood oxygen and other health-based benchmarks for more accurate patient diagnosis. When we study viruses, not only must we focus on how to catch and kill them, stopping virus reproduction and rapid inactivating virus are both important aspects to consider.”





By applying and integrating the latest progress in functional materials, personal protective equipment (PPEs), biosensors, smart materials and e-fibers, e-yarns and e-fabrics, nanomicroelectronics with clinical medicine, epidemiology, wearable electronics, information technology and big data, we will work together to develop advanced cost-effective and practical technical solutions, as well as establish technology platforms for monitoring and controlling pandemics. We are in the same boat, we should and we can fight together to manage the crisis!”

In her speech for the welcoming ceremony, Meifang Zhu, Member of Chinese Academy of Science, recognizes the International Conference on Textile Bioengineering and Information (TBIS), as a highly professional international academic conference in the fields of textile, clothing and biomedical engineering applications. The conference was initiated by the Textile Bioengineering and Information Society in 2008. Having been held for 12 consecutive annual sessions since then, TBIS 2020 has been a key international event for technical research within the textile and clothing fields. The theme of each session has been closely related to global hot topics.

This is an extraordinary timing to have TBIS 2020 as Combating COVID-19 Pandemic with Science and Technology Innovations” and I would like to pay deep respect to organizers working hard to realize this important symposium via the internet. TBIS 2020 has proved how quickly scientists and engineers can respond to on-going problems. This is not only an occasion to indicate a symbolic significance in organizing a symposium via the internet as a countermeasure for on-going problems in real-time but also an occasion for opening the symposium to a much wider scope of audiences and societies.”

In the critical challenges arising from the global COVID-19 outbreak, the textile industry plays a pivotal role in providing personal protective equipment with functional textile materials and devices and remote diagnosis and contact tracing with smart e-textile wearables for combatting coronavirus infections. TBIS 2020 is focused on fostering a discussion on the role of the textile industry in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The conference hosted 21 plenary speeches from 8-9th July 2020, with 2 parallel sessions of special topics and an exclusive roundtable discussion forum on 10 July 2020. Day 1 of the webinar (8th July) was divided into two panels that focused on COVID-19 diagnosis and protection, with Prof. Li Yi as the session chair for the panel on diagnosis, and Prof. Meifang Zhu, Member of Chinese Academy of Science, chairing the panel on COVID-19 protection. Panels on the 9th focused on the topics related to the control of COVID-19 pandemic and sustainability of COVID-19 prevention measures. Prof. Xianyi Zeng from France was the session chair for the panel on COVID-19 control strategies and innovation, while Prof. Jiri Militky, from the Czech Republic, chaired the panel on sustainability and development. 

The multidisciplinary conference program was developed and conducted with a focus on combating COVID-19 pandemic, which includes four themed sessions: 

  1. COVID-19 Diagnosis-Infection Testing and Illness Diagnosis: Prof. Tongyu Zhu of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (China) delivered a comprehensive review on their research in building up a quick response public health system to control epidemic since 2003 SARS outbreak and their practices in COVID-19 pandemic control. In the late pandemic era,  Dr. Na Shen from Wuhan Tongji Hospital (China) gave a comprehensive, critical and professional review on COVID-19 testing methods and applications in clinical practices;  Dr. Liya Ju, Center of hospitals and medical universities in Paris (France), gave a critical review on for the testing methods of COVID-19 in France throughout the past months for patient identification, infection containing and its impact on  clinical surveillance and pandemic control; Prof. Yi Li from University of Manchester (UK) delivered a systematic review on the impact COVID-19 on the human body and world populations, and discussed the sciences of virus shedding, transmission, landing, contamination and filtration in facemasks and PPCs, as well as the epidemiological effects of masking, viruses neutralization-inactivation, contact tracing, testing & diagnosis with exploration of how the latest advances in functional materials, PPEs, biosensors, smart materials and e-fibers, e-yarns and e-fabrics, nano-microelectronics can be integrated with clinical medicine, epidemiology, electronic wearable technologies, information technology and big data  for pandemic control.  

  2. COVID-19 Protection-Personal Protection and Infection Control: Prof. Meifang Zhu of Donghua University (China), Member of Chinese Academy of Science, provided a comprehensive review on the latest fiber science and technology innovations for public health and application to PPEs; Prof. Jiri Militky from Liberec University (Czech) gave a critical discussion on face masks design including materials and mechanisms of inhibition. Dr. Simon Annaheim from EMPA (Switzerland) delivered a time review on their work to develop test methods and technical specifications for protective properties and comfort of community masks for combating COVID-19; Prof. Weilin Xu of Wuhan Textile University (China) delivered a comprehensive review on the science of antibacterial-antiviral materials for personal protection and infection control. Dr. Mary Bao of SGS (China) presented a critical comparison and analysis on the current testing methods and testing standards for PPEs across countries in Europe, Asia, America and Australia; Prof. Aharon Gedanken of Bar-Ilan University (Israel) presented their technology innovation in antibacterial and antiviral textiles.

  3. COVID-19 Control-Outbreak Surveillance and Pandemic Control: Prof. Xianyi Zeng from ENSAIT (France) provided a critical survey on digital technologies for remote diagnosis, contact tracing and pandemic management. Dr. Béchir Ben Hadj Yahia, Center of hospitals and medical universities in Lille (France), presented their work on mathematical modeling of infectious disease and application to predict COVID-19 pandemic in France; Prof. Zongmin Wu of Fudan University (China) critically discussed the mathematical modeling and some elemental issues in predicting COVID-19 pandemic developments; Mr. Aris Huang of Hangzhou Gandao (China) presented their work on using blockchain technology to improve early surveillance system for communicable diseases.

  4. COVID-19 Sustainability-Sustainable Pandemic Control: Prof. Shane Xie of Leeds University  (UK) delivered a comprehensive critical review on a reconfigurable exoskeleton for effective rehabilitation treatment in residential settings for COVID-19 patients;  Dr. Raymond Bond of Ulster University (UK) presented their research on developing apps and chatbots to enhance human-computer conversations for improving mental health during social distancing in a pandemic; Prof. Min Chen of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) presented their novel research on applying emotion-aware wearable computing in the battle against the impact of COVID-19 on mental health; Dr. Jianquan Cheng of Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) presented their research on  lockdown urbanism and health-related quality of life of COVID-19 survivors; 

    Mr. James Shi Jian of TESTEX (Shanghai) Textile Testing Co (China) represented the testing standards and industrial practices on product safety and sustainable production of PPE. Prof. Uwe Reischl of Boise State University (USA) reported their recent research on COVID-19 PPE sterilization system using a portable ozone generation system as the efforts to develop new and creative approaches to solve shortages of PPE. Prof. A. Blanton Godfrey of NCSU (USA) and Dr. Shaghaeygh Rezaei Arangdad of NCSU (USA) presented their research to address the COVID-19 and US PPE supply chain issues.  

On 10-July-2010, 17 presenters reported their research on the science and technology innovations for combatting COVID-19 pandemic in a focused parallel session from virology, antiviral materials, facemask to biosensors for detecting COVID-viruses and cloud-based pandemic surveillance and monitoring system with e-textile wearables.


A wide range of research activities from different countries was presented in a global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the alacrity in which scientists and engineers from all over the world have responded to the sudden global threats of COVID-19, which holds not only a symbolic significance, but also represent our ability to introduce impactful countermeasures for on-going critical challenges in real time. TBIS 2020 was an excellent opportunity for showcasing the latest development of science and technology innovations to a much wider scope of audiences and societies. The lectures presented in the TBIS 2020 Webinar will be available online for registered users.

TBIS 2020 received excellent positive feedback from representatives hailing from the different corners of the world, such as Prof. Sundervel Amsamani from India, Prof. Xungai Wang from Australia and Prof. Jiri Militky and his team from the Czech Republic, voicing their approval and appreciation for the TBIS lectures throughout the webinar. The on-line conference was conducted in high spirits throughout the 3-day conference.

A great conference thus far! The Textile Institute is pleased to be a supporter of such an important conference. Thank you.”

As a participant and witness of this challenging test of the pandemic, I have experienced the warmth of the people in offering their hands to each other and together, combatting the virus. At this moment, we have no choice but to build a global line of defense against the pandemic together with unprecedented solidarity and sturdy actions.”

On top of plenary and keynote medal speeches, in the final day of TBIS 2020, a special forum was organized to discuss international collaboration, where the International Digital Health and Intelligent Fibre Science and Technology Innovation Organization was formally established. The IDH-IF-STIO is an open and international non-governmental and non-profit multilateral international scientific and technological innovation cooperation organization with the aim of promoting interdisciplinary, cross-border, and transnational innovations. IDH-IF-STIO has 40 founding members from 17 European and Asian countries and regions representing 22 universities, 12 companies and 6 public/academic/industrial organizations. 



The governing council was formed by election, which is composed of members from an international community of representatives from 16 universities, 2 research organizations, 2 industrial enterprises, 2 academic societies/professional associations from 10 countries. Prof. Meifang Zhu of Donghua University (China), Member of Chinese Academy of Science, was elected as the Council Chair and Prof. Henry Yi Li of Manchester University was elected as the deputy Council Chair. Furthermore, eight vice-chairs were elected and/or appointed to represent research areas from 5 countries and regions, all of whom are dedicated to the development of the international industrial ecological chain of digital health and intelligent materials for the benefit of human health and construction of global human health community. 

Here, we sincerely invite you to join and actively contribute your expertise and networking resources for the benefit of the world and humanity. At the same time, I call for the establishment of International Digital Health and Intelligent Fibre Science and Technology Innovation Organization to promote interdisciplinary, cross-industry, cross-national and regional joint innovation of industry, education and research, and to build a collaborative platform for the international industrial ecological chain of mathematical, healthy, and intelligent materials. 

We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden! Finally, I want to say, SKY we share, together we stand. 

Many thanks for your participation and contributions!”

The plenary lectures from the 21 outstanding speakers are available online for interested organizations and individuals. You are welcome to scan the following QR code to view the lectures.