Colorado researchers developed a recyclable and self-healing e-skin, specially used in robotics and prosthetics for developing biomedical devices. The robotic skin is a crystalline material that can emulate the function and mechanical properties of human skin, which includes measuring pressure, temperature, and vibration.
Currently, researchers around the world developing a wide range of wearable e-skins, to recognize their value in assorted medical, scientific, and engineering fields.
Jianliang Xiao, lead researcher of the study said, the robotic skin has several distinctive properties, including polyimine, a novel type of covalently bonded dynamic system polymer that has laced with silver nanoparticles to provide better mechanical strength, compound strength and electrical conductivity.
Polyimine in e-skin
While, researchers use the chemical bonding of polyimine in robotic skin that allows both self-healing and fully recyclable at room temperature. However, the healing of cut or broken e-skin, including the sensors, done by using a mix of three commercially available compounds in ethanol.
Also, it can easily transform to curved surfaces like human arms and robotic hands by applying moderate heat and pressure to it without adding excessive stresses.
To recycle the electronic skin, the device soaks into solution, that influence the polymers to degrade into oligomers and monomers that are soluble in ethanol. Also, the silver nanoparticles sink to the base of the solution. The reused arrangement and nanoparticles would use to make new e-skin.