“The day is warm today.”, “The night is too cold.”, “The air seems humid today.” How do we recognize these changes? Our skin gives us this information. The sensation of the skin gives us the information of the surrounding which the human brain uses. And this quality of the human skin has always been a topic of research farfetched enough to make it artificially. Researchers have now been successful in making artificial skin.
What is artificial skin?
The basic working of the skin is sensing the outer components and reporting the same to some controlling entity which is the brain in case of real skin. The sensing is an activity that the sensors have been doing for a long time now. Though the working seems similar there are some differences too.
Artificial skin is a combined product of sensors and information transfer systems. The basic idea of the artificial skin was to make a substance that can work similar to the actual skin. This was basically an invention made to make life easy and as nor as possible for the burn victims.
The artificial skin can detect pressure and vibrations. These will help the wearer to ‘feel’ the things around him. Researchers hope to make this artificial skin do more than the actual skin does, like detecting magnetic fields, sound waves and abnormal behaviors.
The artificial skin as read earlier is made of sensors and information transfer system. The sensors in this artificial skin stocks copper wire wrapped silicon tube. It is filled with a fluid made up of minute particles of iron oxide. These particles are just one billionth of a meter long (0.000000001 m). the outsides are made of rubber.
The rubbing of the tiny particles inside the silicon tube creates an electric current. The copper wire wrapping the tube pics this current. The collected current is the signal that the skin will send to the brain. When the tube hits something that is experiencing pressure the particles move and change the electrical signal.
Electrical signals and sound waves have a totally different effect on these particles that make up the skin components. So it is practically possible to help the artificial skin spot difference between them. The magnetic field also has an effect on the particles and studying all these changes and the accompanying signals can help the skin know the difference between walking, running, jumping or swimming.
The skin is practically sealed for any penetration from outside. And is well adapted to sense more than the normal skin does. So this skin can also be used as a wear-on gadget that can sense external factors and report the information which can be put to various uses.
It can be used in case of small children so that the parents will know if their child has dived too deep into the water or are around something they shouldn’t be.
The sensation is one of the most taken-for-granted qualities of the human body. The one who has it never acknowledges but the one who has lost it knows how very important it really is. Researchers of science and health have always been on the race to develop something that will make things easier. The artificial skin when comes into the picture will be a boon, not only to the burn victims but also to the people who will be using the other applications of the same.