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Stretchable Electronics for Artificial Skin

Skin is the outer soft tissue in vertebrates and it is the largest organ of the human body. It is the most important organ which provides a defense mechanism to other organs in the body from various microbes and elements. It also regulates the body temperature, excretion, absorption, metabolic functions and provides sensitivity to touch, cold and heat. Skin is made up of multiple layers. The outer most layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis, is a water-proof barrier and it maintains the skin tone of the body. The middle layer, called dermis, is made of hair follicles and multiple sweat glands and the third layer, called subcutaneous, is made up of fats. Impairment in any of these functions leads to skin disorders and pathogenic alterations.

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab created an electronic prosthetic hand and arm that has the same dexterity as a human arm. Electronic prosthetics is the biggest area of growth in this industry.

When skin is damaged severely due to disease or burns, the whole body function gets an imbalance and in those conditions, skin wound healing is delayed. In patients with diabetes, skin healing becomes a critical condition. In order to prevent these conditions, skin drafts were prepared. Professor Ioannis V. Yannas invented artificial skin which mimics the functionality of natural skin and becomes a life savior for many patients.

Source: NCBI

Samsung’s new revolutionary technology Patent no. US10045843B2 titled “Stretchable electronics for artificial skin” discloses various methods manufacturing of a stretchable electronic device for artificial skin.

The manufacturing method according to the invention of this patent provides a stretchable electronic device that consists of three encapsulated layers. The first encapsulated layer is disposed of with a heater and it includes a pressure sensor, a strain sensor or a temperature sensor. The second encapsulated layer is disposed on the heater of the first encapsulated layer and the last third encapsulated layer is disposed on the first array sensor layer.

According to the patent embodiments, the stretchable electronic device for artificial skin can exhibit outstanding spatiotemporal sensitivity and mechanical reliability, therefore, it responds to a variety of external environments and stimuli, thereby significantly improving the sensing capability of the artificial skin

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