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Stanford’s Electronic Skin Has Human Sensitivity

The e-skin is intended for people who have suffered major injuries or are affected by sensory disorders.

Jiancheng Lai And Weichen Wang Of Bao Research Group At Stanford University
Jiancheng Lai and Weichen Wang

According to a recent Nature article, a team of researchers at Stanford University have developed an electronic skin, aka e-skin, that mimics the sensation of touch and transmits electrical signals to the brain. The e-skin is a thin, flexible sensor made from a stretchy polymer that can convert physical changes like pressure or temperature into electrical pulses. In experiments with rats, the e-skin was connected to the animals' somatosensory cortex, causing their legs to twitch when the e-skin was touched.

The development of this e-skin brings researchers closer to creating a covering for prosthetic limbs that can provide a sense of touch or restore sensation in people with damaged skin. The e-skin's flexible and soft nature allows for high electrical performance, and the team hopes to develop a wireless version in the future. While more development is needed to create a fully functional artificial skin that can respond to touch, temperature, and pressure, this breakthrough represents an important step forward in the field of artificial prosthetics.

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