American scientists develop artificial skin to sense cold and hot pressure

Artificial skin is perceptually cool and cold Although artificial hands are increasingly realistic in action and flexibility, almost all artificial skin remains at the level of imperceptible plastic coatings. Advanced Nanomaterials Synthesis and Properties Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA Dr. John Simpson, research scientist, said: "Using carbon nanotube technology, we can create artificial skin that not only can approach real skin properties, but can even surpass them."
Simpson and his colleague Ilya Ivanov are working on a so-called "thin skin" research project aimed at developing flexible, lightweight and complete multi-functional skin. In addition, the researchers involved in this project are scientists from the NASA Langley Research Center National Space Research Institute.
Researchers use nanotubes because the materials made from them have a range of useful properties. For example, nanotube-made materials can be used as temperature and pressure sensors, flexible electrical conductors, or as part of a polymeric material that has similar mechanical and thermal properties to human skin.
Ivanov said: "In addition, the carbon in the nanotubes does not cause repulsion, which means that the body's immune system does not recognize it as a foreign object. In the future, nanotubes will help scientists to develop and connect with the human nervous system. The sensor allows information to flow back to the brain.” Currently, the research team is developing a small piece of skin that can be waterproofed and sense temperature and pressure changes.
This waterproof top layer is made of a specially designed nano-structured material that resembles sand particles. Each of the particles can amplify the surface tension and thus have a natural waterproofing effect. The particles can be sprinkled on the polymer like a powder and then combined with the surface heat. This coating can block the water or sweat outside the seams and joints, preventing moisture from damaging the electronics. The team is also pondering how to use carbon nanotubes to use solar energy or body heat to provide energy for these sensors. Ivanov said: "We look forward to hearing more interesting news in the near future."
Improving the Robot's Simulation Robots are very fortunate. Researchers have been working on developing new types of robotic skin for many years, making them more and more human. After the artificial skin developed by American scientists is applied to the robot, the robot's simulation performance can be directly improved. Prior to this, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center technical expert Vladimir Lumelsky implanted sensors in the robot's skin cover. This high-tech robot skin can make robots perform space exploration missions better. Humans and robots have different "physical conditions." In order to realize the intelligence of robots, robots also need sensitive skin to produce a certain touch. Researchers later developed robotic skin that can generate pressure and temperature sensations that can detect and detect various things in sync with human skin. Transistors used in circuits and semiconductors become "raw skin raw materials" based on carbon atom chains, so that robots can be as tactile as humans.
Currently, a new type of artificial skin developed by NASA scientists uses a vertical carbon nanotube layer arranged on the rubber polymer used for cosmetic surgery. It is like implanting a piece of skin. The carbon nanotubes are connected by gold wires. Fixed together. These carbon nanotubes are distributed on a rubbery polymer. This artificial skin, which combines the rubber polymer and the carbon nanotubes, can transfer the heat of the contact surface to the sensor network just as the skin can obtain this information in time. After carbon nanotubes increase the piezoelectric induction on the polymer, the sensor can generate a signal to the robot's brain.
There is still a gap between the real skin Ivanov said that in clinical medical applications, artificial skin does show its superiority over traditional treatments. But whether artificial skin can solve the various problems after skin defect? ​​Current research shows that it is difficult for people to do this. Ivanov said that the skin is the body's largest organ, has a complex tissue structure and contains hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands and other ancillary organs, plays an important physiological role.
The artificial skin currently has the appearance, toughness, and mechanical properties that are significantly lower than natural normal skin, and there are no normal skin hair follicles, blood vessels, sweat glands, and melanocytes. More importantly, artificial skin barriers, immunity, substance exchange, and energy exchange are still far from normal skin.
Artificial skin is not yet able to solve all the clinical skin defect problems. Due to the risk of graft failure, the use of artificial skin has strict indications.
In general, artificial skin is currently used only for "help," it can close the wound, isolate the bacteria, and facilitate healing of the wound. However, the current level of technology is still unable to develop real skin with human hair follicles, sweat glands and pigments. It cannot be applied to the treatment of facial and exposed skin wounds, and it cannot satisfy the needs of those patients who wish to use this beauty. In the event of rejection after transplantation, skin graft repairs are still required.
Artificial skin must now be prepared in a highly demanding production environment. Under the guidance of a qualified doctor, use the formal and strict operating procedures. It is by no means as easy as some media claims that it can be used as a convenient application at home like a band-aid.
Ivanov said: "We should have objective and accurate positioning and evaluation of artificial skin, and we should not be overly optimistic and artificially exaggerating."

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