KAUST E-Skin: The Future Of Electronic Skin, Set To Change Medicine Forever


Technology is going to drive the future of medicine. From artificial hearts to AI-powered brains. A company has now come up with an artificial skin that completely mimics human skin in terms of stretchability, strength, and sensitivity.

KAUST E-Skin: The Future Of Electronic Skin


The Electronic skin or e-skin is expected to soon to make skin drafting and replacement easy and accessible. According to KAUST postdoc Yichen Cai, an e-skin should have all the functions of natural skin, plus it should also able to feel touch and sense temperature. On top of that, it should also be able to withstand damage.

As of now, the majority of e-skins available in the market are made using active nanomaterial that is incorporated into a stretchy surface that can attach to the human skin. The current pain point with the existing e-skin is that the connection between these layers is weak, hence, it takes a hit when it comes to durability and sensitivity.

Tech Behind KAUST E-Skin

Scientists at KUAST have now developed a durable yet sensible e-skin, which utilises 2-D sensors. The skin developed by Cai and Jie Shen uses hydrogel reinforced with silica nanoparticles to make stretchable material with 2D titanium carbide MXene. These two materials are bonded together using conductive nanowires.

Hydrogel consists of 70 percent water, which makes it a skin-friendly material. It can be stretched up to 28 times of its original size. The 2D titanium carbide MXene can sense from 20cm away, and it can send the response to the same in less than 1/10th of a second. The e-skin will work even after 5,000 deformations with an ability to recover in less than a quarter of a second.

This e-skin can monitor a range of biological information like blood pleasure and it can be sent to a computer using a WiFi network. As of now, the only limiting factor is the scaling of these highly sensitive sensors. According to Cai, stretchable sensor technology can be used outside biology.


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