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Artificial skin that sends pressure sensation to brain cell created

Artificial skin that sends pressure sensation to brain cell created
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In a first, a team of engineers from Stanford University has created a plastic “skin” that can detect how hard it is being pressed and generate an...

Washington: In a first, a team of engineers from Stanford University has created a plastic “skin” that can detect how hard it is being pressed and generate an electric signal to deliver this sensory input directly to a living brain cell.

"This is the first time a flexible, skin-like material has been able to detect pressure and also transmit a signal to a component of the nervous system,” explained Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford.

The heart of the technique is a two-ply plastic construct. The top layer creates a sensing mechanism and the bottom layer acts as the circuit to transport electrical signals and translate them into biochemical stimuli compatible with nerve cells.

The top layer in the new work featured a sensor that can detect pressure over the same range as human skin, from a light finger tap to a firm handshake.

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