Flexible artificial skin moisture, heat and pressure to ‘feel’




South Korean researchers have developed an artificial skin which is sensitive to, inter alia, temperature, pressure and humidity. Also, the artificial skin can be brought to body temperature.

The artificial skin is made of transparent polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone species. The stretchy material pdms researchers have called nanoribbons intertwined. These generate energy or the artificial skin is stretched or distorted. This may ‘feel’ the artificial skin, for example, whether an object is hot or cold, so say the researchers in the study, which appears in the scientific tijschrift Nature.

In the PDMS material includes small capacitors. If the artificial skin absorbs moisture change the storage capacity of electricity in the material. The capacitors are able to detect this difference, so that they can detect humidity.

The researchers have tested the artificial skin include in baby diapers. This showed that the material to determine whether or not a diaper is wet. They also managed to get the artificial skin at body temperature, so it is not cold to the touch when used ..

With the material, the researchers hope to cover prostheses. It is still unclear how the information from the sensors to be transmitted to the brains of, for example, a person who lacks a hand.

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