by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  July 12, 2013 at 10:57 AM Health In Focus
Welcome the Artificial Skin That Senses Touch, Temperature and Humidity
From 3-D printers repairing bones and making pizzas to newer drugs for cancer, science seems to be taking a giant leap forward in just a short span of time.

Now it's time to welcome the newest invention- artificial skin which can sense humidity, touch and temperature.

A team of researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has successfully created a new sensor, which could render artificial, lab-grown skin as useful as real skin, complete with the ability to sense touch, humidity and temperature differences.

This new 'skin,' called the skin, or electronic skin, will prove to be of great use to patients having prosthetic limbs.

The sensor, made up of tiny gold particles and a special kind of resin, will help it sense different stimuli when attached to artificial skin.

Unlike other inventions, this very sensor "can simultaneously sense touch, humidity, and temperature, as real skin can do," team leader of the research, Professor Hossam Haick, explained.

This new system "is at least 10 times more sensitive in touch than the currently existing touch-based e-skin systems," he added.

Over the years, flexible sensors have been a major topic of interest for scientists. However, the presence of some major real-time hurdles has hampered their development.

The flexible sensors, for application in the real-world, need to be able to detect different measurements (pressure, temperature, humidity etc), run on low voltage and have a low cost.

Thankfully, this new sensor, manages to achieve all of that.

Combining the intelligent use of gold nanoparticles on a substrate, the sensor can detect a large range of pressures, up to tens of grams.

"Indeed, the development of the artificial skin as biosensor by Professor Haick and his team is another breakthrough that puts nanotechnology at the front of the diagnostic era," Dr Nir Peled, head of the Thoracic Cancer Research and Detection Center at Israel's Sheba Medical Center, commented.

Source: Medindia

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