UC Berkeley Researchers Create Novel Artificial Skin

‘E-Skin’ is formed of nanowires made from artificial materials, and mimics sensitivity of the human touch

Artist’s illustration of an artificial e-skin with nanowire active matrix circuitry. (Ali Javey and Kuniharu Takei, University of California, Berkeley)

The hope is that one day, the novel nanoskin will allow amputees to feel again. "The idea is to have a material that functions like the human skin, which means incorporating the ability to feel and touch objects," said Ali Javey, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the UC Berkeley research team developing the artificial skin. Prior efforts to develop artificial skin relied on organic materials because of their flexibility. But the ‘e-skin’ maintains flexibility using its microscopic nanowires, and researchers believe its nano-enabled foundation will make production less expensive.

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