SYDNEY: An electronic artificial skin developed by Australian researchers can mimic the real human feeling of pain, feeling the difference between gently touching a pin and stabbing with it, a breakthrough which has never been done by similar technology before.
The lead researcher, Professor Madhu Bhaskaran from Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), told Xinhua on Thursday that their artificial skin can also feel the pressure or temperature at the moment they applied and make a response if they reach the pain threshold which is adjustable.
This electronic artificial skin was made possible by combining three technologies patented by the team which creates electronic brain-mimicking memory cells, wearable and unbreakable electronics as thin as a sticker, and temperature-reactive coatings 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Bhaskaran said with further development, the artificial skin could become doctors’ new option for non invasive skin grafts if the traditional approach failed.
“We need further development to integrate this technology into biomedical applications but the fundamentals — biocompatibility, skin-like stretchability — are already there,” Bhaskaran said. Bhaskaran said in the future, the electrical output of this artificial skin can be attached to the nerves of the arm, and the patient’s brain can pick up the feeling signals without surgical operation.