Lives of those who have lost one or limbs can be difficult. Amputees can suffer from a lot of drawbacks as a result of the loss of limb that couldn’t be eliminated entirely even with the use of prosthetic limbs.
But, as per a research done by a team from Britain, amputees would be capable of having a much better sense of touch, temperature, etc. through their prosthetic limbs that were missing in the conventionally used prosthetics. This new breakthrough achieves this remarkable capability by using integrated solar cell powered electronic skin made up of graphene.
This electronic, graphene-based skin, or e-skin as they like to call it has been engineered by Ravindra Dahiya who works at the University if Glasgow’s school of Engineering which can impact the lives of millions of amputees in a positive manner.
Graphene, which has been used for developing the e-skin is a special kind of material that shows a lot of advantage over other materials of similar nature. It is light-weight, flexible and stronger that even steel. So far the problem that was faced on this front is the huge cost that was involved with the mass production of graphene. But in the year 2015, Ravindra Dahiya found a noble method for the mass production of graphene that brought down the cost factor involved tremendously.
The e-skin which would be used in collaboration with the prosthetics for amputees would be entirely self-powered by a set of solar cells that would bring the sense of touch alive. Even before this graphene-based skin came into existence, scientists have tried to inculcate the property of touch sensitivity by using various pressure sensitive materials called piezoelectric materials. But the e-skin developed out of them suffered the disadvantage of being bulky as difficult to be powered by conventional methods. Whereas in the case of the graphene-based e-skin that has been developed by Dahiya, it has a thickness of about a single layer of atoms and is highly transparent for the solar rays to pass through itself as well.