Israeli researchers have announced that they have successfully developed a flexible sensor technology that has a sense of touch and the capability to self-heal like real skin. The sensor is made of synthetic polymer, a material that has remarkable self-healing properties.
The researchers, who are from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, were able to create a flexible and durable prototype that can withstand repeated scratches and torture. It can also heal itself in a very short time - less than one day, according to a press release.
"The vulnerability of flexible sensors used in real-world applications calls for the development of self-healing properties similar to how human skin heals," said Prof. Hossam Haick, lead researcher at Technion, according to Breitbart. "Accordingly, we have developed a complete, self-healing device in the form of a bendable and stretchable chemi-resistor where every part - no matter where the device is cut or scratched - is self-healing."
The sensor is expected to lead to the development of artificial skin that could mimic its human counterpart. Presently, the sensor is now being utilized in consumer electronics such as smartphones as well as robotics, healthcare and space flight, according to Israel21C.
The researchers, however, aim to further develop the self-healing technology for human use. They envision the technology to culminate in an electronic skin that will allow prosthetic limbs to have a sense of touch so that amputees could feel their environment or the object that they touch. The details of the research can be accessed in this database.