Good news! Artificial 'superhuman' skin can help burn victims sense again

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The e-skin can even feel magnetic field and sound wave vibrations.
The e-skin can even feel magnetic field and sound wave vibrations.

New Delhi : This news will give relief to thousands of people worldwide. Scientists have developed a sensor for artificial skin that may not only help burn victims feel, but also the concerned person to feel sound waves and magnetic fields. Developed by engineers, chemists, and biologists at the University of Connecticut and University of Toronto, the technology is a blessing to medical science and now burn victims can feel again through their prosthetic skin.

Human skin is able to perceive pressure, heat, cold, and vibration while in case of burn victims, those with prosthetic limbs, and others who have lost skin sensitivity for one reason or another, cannot take it for granted, and often injure them unintentionally.

“The type of artificial skin we developed can be called an electronic skin or e-skin,” Islam Mosa, a postdoctoral fellow at UConn, told Digital Trends. “It is a new group of smart wearable electronics that are flexible, stretchable, shapable, and possess unique sensing capabilities that mimic human skin.”

In order to create sensor for artificial skin, Mosa and his team wrapped a silicone tube with a copper wire and filled the tube with an iron oxide nano-particle fluid. As the nanoparticles move around the tube, they create an electrical current, which is picked up by the copper wire. 

The best part is that besides the ability to feel environmental changes just like original human skin does, the e-skin can even feel magnetic field and sound wave vibrations.

“A big motivation to develop this e-skin sensor was to extend the capabilities of this technology to superhuman abilities,” he said. “We proved that e-skin can alarm humans of the surrounding danger before accidents happen.”

Researchers suggest that the artificial skin invention will find applications in hazard prevention electronics, rescue robotics, and next-generation remote health care monitoring.