Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Smart Suit

Imagine a wet suit that goes on loose, then snugs down to keep you warm as you descend to icy depths. Thanks to smart-materials developer Mid Technology of Medford, MA, such suits are on the way. To make the suits work, Mid spikes neoprene, the standard wet suit material, with isopropylacrylamide, a “hydrogel” material that swells when it is warmed and contracts as it cools. Mid president Marthinus van Schoor says the hydrogel-neoprene suit, developed for the U.S. Navy Seals, hugs the diver in cold seas, reducing the amount any water trapped inside the suit sloshes across the skin and carries away heat; in tests at 13 C, hydrogel-impregnated suits provided 70 percent more thermal protection than neoprene alone. Santa Cruz, CA-based wet suit manufacturer O’Neill plans to test the Mid technology. If it passes muster, divers won’t be left shivering for much longer.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Web

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me