Artificial skin allows prosthetic users to experience sense of touch

Researchers in South Korea have created an artificial skin for prosthetic limbs that allows wearers to experience a sense of touch, according to study results published in Nature Communications.

The “smart” prosthetic skin is equipped with pressure and temperature sensors, humidity sensors, electro-resistive heaters and stretchable multi-electrode arrays for nerve stimulation. It is made of an ultrathin, single crystalline silicon nano ribbon strain that allows the skin to stretch. The collection of stretchable sensors and arrays allows for a “highly localized mechanical and thermal skin-like perception in response to external stimuli,” according to the study’s abstract.

The researchers hope the skin will provide new opportunities for emerging prosthesis classes as well as peripheral nervous system interface technologies.

Reference: Kim J. Nat Commun. 2014;doi:10.1038/ncomms6747.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.

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