According to a study published in Science journal, artificial skin may actually allow patients to feel.
A group of engineers from Stanford University created a sensor that can feel pressure and has the possibility to transmit information to the brain. With further research, this sensor could be used for prosthetic limbs.
This skin would give the amputees the possibility of sensing the world by means of artificial limbs. Although many prosthetics can be controlled via muscles, nerves or even brain, patients still doesn’t have the possibility of feeling all sorts of sensations.
The skin is made from organic circuits which are flexible, thus giving future patients the possibility of having prosthetics that allow them to feel.
The way in which these organic circuits will function is pretty simple: they will transform the pressure into virtual signal. In other words, these sensors recreate the pressure humans feel.
The skin is made up of carbon nanotubes which intensify sensitivity.
The study was conducted on mice.
According to scientists, a big challenge was to transfer the virtual signals from the skin to the brain, taking into consideration the fact that they had to recreate new optogenetic proteins that could deal with longer periods of stimulation. This new method extended the stimulation interval. This made them react in accordance with the virtual pulse given by the skin.
This new device is very useful for disabled people, as it gives them mobility and self-control.
”The addition of tactile sensing can benefit the utility of these neuroprosthetics by enhancing motor control and relieving phantom limb pain associated with limb loss,” said Benjamin Tee.
All in all, this new device may be very useful for disabled people, as artificial skin may actually allow patients to feel, making them perceive reality as it is.
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