Super Skin

Wearable tech… for your BIRTHDAY SUIT?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Imagine losing your sense of touch. You can move and pick things up, put your clothes on… But… no feelings!  Could we improve touch sensitivity?

Enter Anna Coclite and team at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

They developed a SUPER skin with thousands of microscopic sensors. Each sensor contains a flexible gel, and electricity-creating minerals! The gel absorbs water and changes shape based on the environment. Then, the physical stress is detected by an electrical element. This makes the sensor react to TINY changes in the environment. 

The super skin detected objects a THOUSAND times smaller than human skin can. Even microbes! YUCK! Did I mention this super skin is WAY thinner than ours!?

This skin could help prosthetics sense temperature and humidity. Robots could begin to “feel” sensations… like humans! 

Ugh. Did you feel that? A microbe just landed… on your EPIDERMIS! EWWW

Reference: Abu Ali, T., Schäffner, P., Belegratis, M., Schider, G., Stadlober, B., & Coclite, A. M. (2022). Smart Core-Shell Nanostructures for Force, Humidity, and Temperature Multi-Stimuli Responsiveness. Advanced Materials Technologies, 2200246.