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New ‘Superhuman Skin’ Helps Burn Victims ‘Feel’

Researchers have developed a sensor that allows artificial skin to sense pressure, vibrations, and magnetic fields.

Superhuman Skin / Image: Getty Images
Superhuman Skin / Image: Getty Images

A recent article from Digital Trends discussed a new development that helps amputees and burn victims regain feeling through their prosthetic skin. A team of engineers, chemists, and biologists at University of Connecticut and University of Toronto worked together to create a sensor for artificial skin that mimics the properties of the real thing. The electronic skin, aka e-skin, is flexible, stretchable, shapable, and has sensing capabilities that mimic the real thing.

The sensors are comprised of a silicone tube filled with an iron oxide nanoparticle fluid and a copper wire running through it. As the nanoparticles move around the tube, they create an electrical current that’s picked up by the copper wire. When the pressure in the tube increases, the current changes. The current cost of each sensor is less than $5, but they expect that to go up after more research and development, testing, and FDA approval.

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