“Smart skin” can detect microorganisms

After six years of efforts, Italian and Austrian researchers pioneered the development of a three in one composite material, known as the new generation of “smart skin”. Its sensitivity is 1000 times that of real skin, and it can detect touch, temperature, moisture and even microorganisms, which is helpful to promote the development of sensitive robots and intelligent artificial limbs.

The latest research leader, Italian scientist Anna Koclatte, led the team of the Institute of Solid State Physics of Graz University of Technology in Austria to develop this smart skin. There are 2000 independent sensors per square millimeter, which is more sensitive than human fingertips. Inside each sensor is a smart polymer in the form of hydrogel, and the shell is piezoelectric zinc oxide.

It is reported that the thickness of the first batch of artificial skin samples is 6 microns, while the thickness of human epidermis is 0.03-2 mm. Artificial skin can also be made thinner. In addition, human skin can perceive objects about 1 mm2 in size. The sensitivity of artificial intelligent skin is 1000 times that of human skin, and it can detect smaller objects such as microorganisms.

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