Artificial Skin can Offer Sense of Touch to Prosthetics Patients
Group of researchers from the U.S. have developed an artificial skin that can feel similar to the way a fingertip senses pressure, which may help people perceive sensation in prosthetic limbs.
The artificial skin is made of a synthetic rubber, which is designed to have micron-scale pyramid like structures making it sensitive to pressure. Pressure-sensitive rubber was loaded with carbon nanotubes, microscopic cylinders of carbon that are highly conductive to electricity to examine a series of pulses generated from the sensor. Researchers were successful in sending touching sensation as an electric pulse to the relevant ‘touch’ brain cells in mice.
According to Regenerative Artificial Skin Market published by Coherent Market Insights, artificial skin facilitates generation of new skin on the affected area. This type of regenerative skin have wide applications in treatment of burn cases and in patients with loss of sensation. If skin could create electric pulses that brain cells respond was examined by connecting the synthetic skin to a circuit connected to a blue LED light.
When the skin was touched, the sensor sent electric pulses to the LED, which pulsed in response. The sensors translated that pressure pulse into an electric pulses. As the pressure was high, LED flashed faster. The series of pulses was sent to brain cells in a way that resembles how touch receptors in human skin send sensations to the brain. “We were able to create very similar to biological mechanical receptors,” said Benjamin Tee, Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore.
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