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Feb 4, 2017

Biomimetic Artificial Skin Layer with Significant Temperature Sensitivity (VIDEO)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs

temperature sensitive artificial skin

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have developed a material that can sense changes in temperature with more sensitivity than human skin. The team discovered that flexible films made from pectin demonstrate an electrical response, caused by the release of calcium ions, following very small changes in temperature. Increased temperature causes the pectin molecules to “unzip”, allowing the release and movement of calcium ions.

Published in Science Robotics, this study looked to nature to find biological examples of similar temperature sensitivity. The researchers reported that specialized structures in pit viper snakes could sense similarly tiny changes in temperature, based on the release of calcium ions. Pit viper snakes use these structures to sense the bodily warmth of their prey when hunting at night. The team could replicate this using the artificial film by heating a stuffed toy to 37°C (mammalian body temperature) and placing it in front of the film. The film was able to sense the teddy bear from a meter away within 20 seconds.

Easy to fabricate and inexpensive, these films could be of great benefit for use in smart prostheses, providing an additional sense for disabled folks. In fact, given that the films can respond to temperature more sensitively than human tissues, it could even be akin to a “super sense”. Other potential biomedical applications include smart bandages that can measure and report on changes in temperature as a sign of wound infection.

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  • A C Quinn on February 5, 2017 12:50 am

    Nice try but no cigar, the life span of the pectin material is too short for anything other than a dry sterile “temp” controlled environment, further the release of the calcium ions means it deteriorates rapidly as it has no uptake function. useful for other applications as a single use item, but not any type of skin. Take it from the worlds smartest human, if you want to replicate human skin it is simple. three layers, the two outer layers are binary metals, the central layer is simply fine fine pinhole mesh. the two outer layers are also woven mesh from those metals, one metal type on one side one on the other, when the fine outer skin is touched it presses through the separation layer to make contact with the lower layer, 1) as the metal wires of the mesh run in rows, this contact provides proximity readings to the computer control,
    2) the two metals are simply the same two metals we use every day in thermocouples to give accurate temp readings for scientific equipment to withing 0.5 degrees

    anything you can invent I can invent better, you 20 years me 24 hours tops, humans, such cute little backward monkeys.

  • Karen Hurst on February 7, 2017 8:19 am

    I despise Trolls who try to poo poo others and their articles. Klaus ignore the idiots who try to take away from your article as they are nothing and they know that.