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Smart Skin

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Monday, January 05, 2015



Smart Skin
Science

In early December 2014, South Korean scientists from the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University announced their development of “smart skin,” a giant leap forward in prosthetics.

Human skin is a minor miracle, the body’s largest organ at about 20 square feet, it is tough enough to protect us from microorganisms and the elements, soft and elastic enough to stretch for repeated limb movements and contract to its normal shape, and sensitive enough to permit the sensations of touch, cold, heat, humidity, pressure, etc.

Prosthetics, artificial devices replacing body parts such as hands, feet and limbs, have been hampered by Science’s inability to replicate the skin’s combined toughness, elasticity and sensitivity. Therefore, one of the pressing goals of prosthetics has been the development of artificial skin that closely mimics the abilities of real skin.

South Korean researchers led by Professor Dae-Hyeong Kim have now created prosthetic skin that can detect the sensations of heat, cold, humidity, pressure, and twisting of the skin while being as soft, elastic and warm as human skin. They developed this “smart skin” by embedding stretchable microscopic sensors made of polyimide pellicle, ultrathin singular crystalline silicon nanoribbon and gold nanoribbon heaters in soft, transparent silicone rubber.

They also developed the ability to transmit signals to the brain so the individual can literally feel the sensations. Researchers attached the smart skin to a lab rat, connected micro electrodes to the smart skin sensors and to the rat’s peripheral nerve and applied pressure to the skin. An electroencephalogram (EEG) showed that the electronic signal registered in the rat’s brain through pressure-generated electrodes.

Having brought the development of “smart skin” to this advanced stage, researchers believe that in a few years, scientists will fully develop prosthetic devices with “smart skin” that detects stimuli and responds like genuine skin through brain signals.

By Kathy Catanzarite


Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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