Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Electronic skin could help amputees sense touch, temperature, humidity

Sean Fitz-Gerald (via Mashable/ SMH) | July 12, 2013
A team of scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has discovered a medical breakthrough that could allow amputees to glean a better sense their surroundings.

A team of scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has discovered a medical breakthrough that could allow amputees to glean a better sense their surroundings.

Researchers have developed a flexible sensor with the potential for integration into electronic skin. If successful, the e-skin could attach to prosthetic limbs, letting people with artificial appendages experience changes in their environments, such as touch, humidity and temperature, simultaneously. 

This is a big step forward, said the Technion Society, as current forms of e-skin can only detect touch. The researchers developed the new system using gold particles and a kind of resin, which is at least 10 times more sensitive to touch than other touch-based e-skin systems, according to research team leader Professor Hossam Haick.

An effective flexible sensor would reportedly have to operate on low voltage, measure a wide range of pressures and detect more than one kind of data at once in order to find mainstream adopters. The Technion team's sensor purportedly boasts all of these qualities.

"The sensor is very stable and can be attached to any surface shape while keeping the function stable," Dr Nir Peled, Head of the Thoracic Cancer Research and Detection Centre at Israel's Sheba Medical Centre, who was not involved in the research, told Science Daily.

The findings appear in the June issue of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.