Self-Healing Sensors Mimic the Self-Healing Properties of Human Skin

By: | December 1st, 2015

Image courtesy praisaeng / Fotolia

The human body is blessed with an enormous, astonishing, and persistent capacity to heal itself.

Now, researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology have made a new sensor that has self-healing properties.

Flexible sensors are used in many fields like consumer electronics, robotics, health care, and space flight. These sensors normally get scratched and damaged easily, which affects the functionality of the device.

Although this sounds like science fiction, Israeli researchers have developed materials that can be integrated into flexible devices to “heal” these scratches or cuts.

More About This Self-healing Sensor:

This new sensor has a self-healing substrate, high conductivity electrodes, and molecularly modified gold nanoparticles. It is capable of healing the sensors in less than one day.

Self-healing sensor co-developer Prof. Hossam Haick said, “The gold particles on top of the substrate and between the self-healing electrodes are able to ‘heal’ cracks that could completely disconnect electrical connectivity.”

Temperatures between 0°C and 10°C are most favorable for the healing polymer. After healing, the electrode resistance increases, and it can survive 20 times or more cutting/healing cycles. Moreover, once healed, it also demonstrates superior heal-ability at the extreme temperatures of -20°C to 40°C.

Researchers foresee that this amazing material can be used to create electronic skin and prosthetic limbs that allow wearers to ‘feel’ changes in their environments.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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