Materials Science

Stretchy and sensitive skin

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Science  29 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6298, pp. 459-460
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6298.459-e

Natural skin is both highly elastic and sensitive to small pressure changes, but this combination of properties has been hard to engineer into an electronic skin. Duan et al. built a double polymer network structure around nanofiber-containing chitosan microspheres that act as reinforcements, yielding a material with a highly stretchable, wrinkled structure. Dried chitosan microspheres were swollen in acid containing acrylamide that was polymerized to form a chitosan-polyacrylamide gel. In a subsequent step, the gels were soaked in acid containing aniline that was polymerized in situ. The resulting gels show excellent conductivity and force sensitivity with a wide pressure detection range.

Adv. Mater. 10.1002/adma.201602126 (2016).

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