November 22nd, 2012
Scientists have invented the first artificial skin table to both sense subtle pressure and heal itself when torn or cut – and it could one day be used for the screens on mobile phones. A team from Stanford University are the first to create a synthetic skin that can not only repair damage to itself but is also able, crucially, to conduct electricity.
It is this crucial latter property that promises to make it useful in the field of consumer electronics. In the past decade, there have been major advances in synthetic skin, but even the most effective self-healing materials had major drawbacks.
Some had to be exposed to high temperatures, making them impractical for day-to-day use. Others could heal at room temperature, but repairing a cut changed their mechanical or chemical structure, so they could only heal themselves once.
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