Scientists at the University Of Colorado Boulder in the US have managed to create a new material that is capable of healing itself when it is damaged and can even be recycled to make a new skin.
Consisting of a translucent thin band, the electronic skin (abbreviated E-skin) tries to mimic many of the human skin’s properties and functionalities and can be used in a wide range of applications.
The electronic skin can heal itself
The electronic skin comes with pressure, humidity, airflow, and temperature and sensors and it is made of three separate compounds, which are combined and aligned with silver nanoparticles.
If the e-skin is cut, additional compounds are added to the wound, allowing it to heal (repair).
If the electronic skin is damaged and can no longer be repaired, it can even be recycled using a special solution to liquefy it in a form that can be used to create a new piece of electronic skin.
Possible uses of the E-skin
Scientists believe the new E-skin will open some roads that otherwise would have remained blocked.
First, it can have medical appliances for people who have injured or burnt parts of the skin and can’t feel anything.
Secondly, and the most probable use for E-skin, will be in the robotics field. Here, future robots would be capable of feeling with the E-skin like humans do with the organic skin.
All these will happen in the future but, in the meantime, E-skin is just a new invention and most probably will need some improvements.
The new electronic skin is environmental-friendly
“This particular device does not produce any waste,” said co-author Jianliang Xiao of the University of Colorado Boulder. The scientists admitted that they want to make the electronics friendly for the environment.
In the future, the electronic skin could be used in a wide range of medical, scientific, and engineering applications.