Flexible electronics are great – they are helpful in wearable technology, robotics, health, and space flight. But components that we are easily damaged, destroying their functionality.

This is why chemical engineers from the Israel Institute of Technology are developing flexible electronic sensors that can “heal” damage.

It is hoped that this can be used to create artificial skin for prosthetic devices which allow the wearer to feel their environment.

key is a new type of synthetic resin, which is equipped with highly conductive electrodes and gold nanoparticles. When damaged, it expands to “treat” a crack, which would otherwise break the flow of electricity between the electrodes, which allows for continued operation.

Under My Skin

The article describing the discovery in Advanced Materials, the researchers wrote: “The healing of efficiency chemiresistor so high that the sensor has experienced several cuttings at random positions.”

Tan Phat Huynh, one of the sponsors of developers sensor and a specialist in electronic skin, added: “One day, self-healing sensor can serve as a platform for biosensors that monitor the health of the person using electronic skin”

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Image credit :. Microsoft Research // CC BY-SA 3.0