Smart Prosthetics: Electronic Skin That Can React to Pain Developed by Researchers in Australia

The development of artificial skin that can feel and react to pain is being seen as a great breakthrough in prosthetics | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

The development of artificial skin that can feel and react to pain is being seen as a great breakthrough in prosthetics | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

A team of researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed an artificial skin that can react to pain the way real skin would.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: September 1, 2020, 8:42 PM IST

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In what is being seen as a step forward in prosthetics and non-invasive skin grafting, scientists have managed to create electronic skin which has the ability to feel pain.

The pain response is part of the skin’s defence mechanism to protect the surface from further damage. But when it came to artificial skin, despite several developments in texture and strength, scientists had been struggling to improve the pain response in artificial skin.


Now, a team of researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed an artificial skin which can react to pain the way real skin would. It can do so by mimicking the human body’s super quick feedback and response system that protects it from harm.

Lead researcher Professor Madhu Bhaskaran said that the new development brought scientists one step closer to intelligent robotics and using biotechnology for creating smarter skin grafts and prosthetics solutions for humans. The findings of the study were published in Advanced Intelligent Systems.

In theThe team has also come up with “stretchable electronics” to create devices that can react not only to painful stimuli but also change in temperature and pressure in order to further mimic real skin.

The development comes nearly a month after a team of researchers in Singapore have developed electronic skin capable of recreating a sense of touch, an innovation they hope will allow people with prosthetic limbs to detect objects, as well as feel texture, or even temperature and pain.

“So humans need to slide to feel texture, but in this case the skin, with just a single touch, is able to detect textures of different roughness,” said research team leader Benjamin Tee from the National University of Singapore adding that AI algorithms let the device learn quickly.

The researchers had been inspired by ‘Star Wars’ to create the electronic skin.


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