Watch | ‘Artificial skin’ prototype developed by scientists in Austria

Watch | ‘Artificial skin’ prototype developed by scientists in Austria

Dr. Anna Maria Coclite of TU Graz describes the making of the three-in-one “smart skin” hybrid material, which closely resembles human skin

February 21, 2024 02:35 pm | Updated 03:35 pm IST

Scientists at TU Graz in Austria, have developed a prototype for artificial skin. Sometimes in winter, it gets so cold in Graz that you can hardly feel your fingertips.

Just like wearables, this prototype gets really close to the human skin. Last year, Dr. Anna Maria Coclite and her team of researchers from the Institute of Solid State Physics at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) presented the results of their research to the European Research Council, to land Proof of Concept funding for their project ‘SmartCore’.

Dr. Coclite and her team had succeeded in developing a three-in-one “smart skin” hybrid material, which closely resembles human skin by simultaneously sensing pressure, moisture and temperature and converting them into electronic signals. With 2,000 individual sensors per square millimetre, the hybrid material is more sensitive than a human fingertip, giving it its reputation, and, at 0.006 millimetres thick, many times thinner than human skin.

The team argued that by reacting to these three human sensory impressions, the smart skin prototype surpasses all electronic skin materials on the market to date which only react to pressure and temperature. 

The Hindu spoke to Dr Coclite for more on this unique concept.

Read more: The finer touch: when ‘artificial skin’ is more sensitive than the original

Reporting: Ramya Kannan

Production: Shibu Narayan

Photos and videos: Helmut Lunghammer

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