According to foreign media reports, many research teams have developed so-called “electronic skin”, which adds electronic functions to the user’s skin. However, a new technology has given it a new attraction, eliminating the need for integrated electronic devices and power supplies.
The material was created by a team at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and is made from a highly flexible biocompatible polymer mixed with magnetized particles. Through the “cheap and simple” process, it can be made into sheets and temporarily glued to the user’s own skin.
Once the magnetic skin is in place, nearby sensors can detect changes in its magnetic field as the body parts in question move around. For example, in a laboratory test, the skin is applied to the eyelids of the test object and then monitored by an adjacent multi-axis magnetic sensor.
The sensor is always able to determine whether the eyelids are open or closed. In the future, this feature could lead to the use of the technology in applications such as a human-machine interface for people with disabilities, sleep mode analysis, or driver-sensitive monitoring. In those cases, magnetic sensors can be built into spectacle frames, eye masks or electronic tattoos applied to the forehead.
The researchers also attached magnetic skin to the tip of the latex glove, which could then be used to turn on or off the lighting switch with magnetic sensors. This setting can be used in places such as laboratories and medical settings, among other things. In addition, the gesture control system for electric wheelchairs is under development.
“Artificial electronic skin often requires power and data storage or communication networks,” said Associate Professor Jurgen Kosel, the project’s lead. This involves batteries, wires, electronic chips and antennas, which make the skin inconvenient to wear. Our magnetic skin doesn’t need any of this. As far as we know, this is the first of its kind. “
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.