POST TIME: 21 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
‘Electronic skin’ will help disabled get real sense of touch, feel

‘Electronic skin’ will help disabled get real sense of touch, feel

SAN FRANCISCO: Disabled people with prosthetic limbs will have the full functional sense of touch and feel in the future thanks to Stanford University scientists’ success in creating the wearable “electronic skin,” or e-skin, one of the scientists told Xinhua on Monday, reports Xinhua.

Zhennan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, said her research on stretchable skin-like electronics is currently focused on medical applications such as health monitoring, medical treatment, medical implants and biological studies. She said her team had made significant advancement in skin electronics by developing for the first time core elements for the skin-like electronics that can adhere seamlessly to human skin or within the body. The result of the research was published Monday in the international science journal Nature.

One of the major breakthroughs that Bao and her team of scientists had achieved was in enhancing the stretchability of the e-skin, so that it becomes as soft and stretchable as human skin and is more comfortable to wear.

Bao said the current electronic devices that are used as a means of transmitting signal on artificial limbs are rigid and cannot be extended, and that she has been working for years on exploring and designing an organic material that is flexible, stretchable, bio-degradable and self-healable, just like human skin.

To that end, Bao’s team proposed in their latest research the use of “intrinsically stretchable polymer materials,” whose production they said had been hampered by the lack of what they called “a scalable fabrication technology.”