New Skin? A Plastic That Heals Itself, Conducts Electricity, and is Sensitive To Touch
2012-11-22 0:00

From: DiscoverMagazine.com

New Skin? A Plastic That Heals Itself, Conducts Electricity, and is Sensitive To Touch



Skin is a material with astonishing capabilities: the flexible, waterproof layer constantly regenerates itself, heals itself after scratches and cuts, and, through its nerves, conducts electricity, relaying the sense of touch to the brain. Engineers have long been trying to come up with a synthetic polymer that does all those things, and does them under standard conditions rather than the carefully calibrated set-up of a lab. Now engineers have created a polymer with a combination of skin’s most elusive attributes that no polymer had achieved before: This new material, reported in Nature Nanotechnology, can conduct electricity and, when it is sliced open with a razor, can heal itself at room temperature.

The material can come back together thanks to the hydrogen bonds, which break and reform easily and reversibly, connecting its molecules. Due to the addition of nickel particles, it can also conduct electricity. The researchers found that after the material was cut open, it regained 90 percent of its electrical conductivity within 15 seconds. What’s more, the material’s electrical resistance changes in response to pressure—giving this synthetic skin what is, essentially, a sense of touch. The material may eventually be used to make touch-sensitive prosthetic limbs. Meanwhile, the resilient, conductive material should aid in the development of better on-skin electronic devices, such as wearable heart-rate monitors.

Article from: discovermagazine.com












Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
2015-09-01 23:33
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city [Milwaukee]. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year–after 86 homicides in all of 2014. More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ...
Bulgaria - Islamic State Terrorists Caught Crossing Into Europe Posing As Refugees
2015-09-01 23:47
Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported. The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones. In ...
How This NY Mom Made the Case for Her Son’s Religious Vaccine Exemption
2015-09-01 22:27
An unidentified, Russian immigrant mother who practices the Russian Orthodox faith, has secured a religious vaccine exemption for her autistic son. New York has a bill on the table to eliminate religious exemption and to root out those who weren’t refusing vaccines on strictly devout, religious grounds. Yet, this woman’s plight goes back before talk of eliminating the exemption – two ...
Wall Street Panics Over Global Recession Fears
2015-09-01 21:18
Chinese factories slow down significantly Wall Street plunged Tuesday after investors feared weak data from China, the world’s second-largest economy, would lead to a global recession. China’s manufacturing sector suffered its quickest deterioration in over six years, leading to a three-year market low and other sectors of the Chinese economy also slowed down significantly. In response, all three major U.S. stock indices, the ...
Thousands of Icelanders Have Volunteered to Take Syrian Refugees Into Their Homes
2015-09-01 21:47
The Icelandic government says it is now looking into increasing its refugee quota More than 11,000 Icelanders have offered to take Syrian refugees into their homes, after their government said it would accept only 50 people this year. A Facebook event created Sunday by Icelandic author and professor Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged members of the public to call on the government to increase ...
More News »