New Electronic Skin Glows When Injured


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Researchers from China have developed a new jellyfish-inspired electronic skin that glows when the pressure applied against it is high enough to cause an injury.

According to a report published in American Chemical Society’s Applied Materials & Interfaces, existing electronic-skin technologies are capable of detecting the slightest touch or breeze, but fail to respond effectively to a harmful blow.

According to the report, an electronic skin that can mimic the full range of biological skin’s sensitivity has great potential to transform prosthetics and robotics.

Current technologies are very sensitive, but only within a narrow range of weak pressures. Under high pressures that could cause damage, the electronic skins’ sensitivity fades.

To address this shortcoming, Bin Hu and colleagues at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology turned to the Atolla jellyfish for inspiration.

According to the researchers, the bioluminescent, deep-sea creature can feel changes in environmental pressure and flashes dramatically when it senses danger.

Building on the idea of a visual warning in response to a physical threat, the researchers combined electric and optical systems in a novel electronic skin to detect both slight and high-force pressures.

They embedded two layers of stretchy, poly-dimethysiloxane, or PDMS, film with silver nanowires. These layers produce an electrical signal in response to slight pressures, such as those created by a breeze or contact with a leaf.

Sandwiched in between the silver nanowire electrodes is a PDMS layer embedded with phosphors. This layer kicks in and glows with growing intensity as the physical force increases.

According to the researchers, this approach more closely copies the wide range of pressures the human skin can feel.

Image credits and content: American Chemical Society

The post New Electronic Skin Glows When Injured appeared first on World Industrial Reporter.


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