Scientists Develop A Soft, ‘Smart’ Skin That Could Revolutionize Prosthetics

South Korean researchers have developed new “smart” prosthetic skin that’s as soft and elastic as human skin, and can detect temperature, humidity and even tactile sensation through built-in sensors.

Professor Dae-Hyeong Kim, of the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University, announced on December 9th the development of the smart prosthetic skin by embedding stretchable microscopic sensors inside of soft silicone rubber. These sensors enable the “skin” to detect pressure, temperature, humidity and even deformation of the skin by force.

The study was published online in the international journal “Nature Communications.” This stretchable prosthetic skin is equipped with thermal, humidity, pressure and strain sensors made of polyimide (PI) pellicle, ultrathin single crystalline silicon nanoribbon (SiNR) and gold nanoribbon heaters inside transparent silicone rubber.

“Globally, we’ve already seen the success of thought-operated prosthetic arms,” Professor Dae-Hyeong Kim told Korean news outlet Yonhap News. “In a few years, I expect to see prosthetic devices made of prosthetic skin that detects external stimuli and responds like real skin, operated by brain signals.”

The embedded sensors measure the pressure, temperature and humidity of any object that touches the “skin” and detect the level of stretching, while —> Read More Here


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