Jellyfish-Inspired Electronic Skin Glows When it Gets Hurt
News Nov 02, 2017 | Original Story from the American Chemical Society.
Electronic-skin technologies for prosthetics and robots can detect the slightest touch or breeze. But oddly, the sensors that make this possible do not respond effectively to a harmful blow. Now researchers report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a jellyfish-inspired electronic skin that glows when the pressure against it is high enough to potentially cause an injury.
An electronic skin that can mimic the full range of biological skin’s sensitivity has great potential to transform prosthetics and robotics. Current technologies are very sensitive, but only within a narrow range of weak pressures. Under high pressures that could cause damage, the electronic skins’ sensitivity fades. To address this shortcoming, Bin Hu and colleagues at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology turned to the Atolla jellyfish for inspiration. This bioluminescent, deep-sea creature can feel changes in environmental pressure and flashes dramatically when it senses danger.
Building on the idea of a visual warning in response to a physical threat, the researchers combined electric and optical systems in a novel electronic skin to detect both slight and high-force pressures. They embedded two layers of stretchy, poly-dimethysiloxane, or PDMS, film with silver nanowires. These layers produce an electrical signal in response to slight pressures, such as those created by a breeze or contact with a leaf. Sandwiched in between the silver nanowire electrodes is a PDMS layer embedded with phosphors. This layer kicks in and glows with growing intensity as the physical force increases. The researchers say this approach more closely copies the wide range of pressures the human skin can feel.
This article has been republished from materials provided by the American Chemical Society. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Dual-Mode Electronic Skin with Integrated Tactile Sensing and Visualized Injury Warning. Yanli Zhang, Yunsheng Fang, Jia Li, Qihao Zhou, Yongjun Xiao, Kui Zhang, Beibei Luo, Jun Zhou and Bin Hu. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (42), pp 37493–37500 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b13016.
Test For Designer Drugs Could Help Treat Overdose PatientsNews
Medical professionals are scrambling to meet the growing demand for emergency room treatment, but they’re hampered by the lack of a quick and easy test to screen patients for “designer” drugs. Chemists have now developed such a test and are refining it with the hope that hospitals could eventually use it to choose the appropriate treatment.READ MORE
Promise for Combating Harmful Algal BloomsNews
A cheap, safe and effective method of dealing with harmful algal blooms is on the verge of being introduced following successful field and lab tests. Moves to adopt use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an effective treatment against toxic algae are already underway following the results of new research.READ MORE
The Smoke Screen - Sensor Arms Race is OnNews
The military uses smoke grenades in dangerous situations to provide cover for people and tanks on the move. But increasingly, sensors can now go beyond the visible range into the infrared (IR) region of the spectrum. Today, researchers report developing a new kind of smoke that obscures both visible and IR detection.READ MORE