Published: May 20, 2020


As the largest organ in a human body, skin plays an important role in our daily interaction with the environment. Skin not only protects the internal tissue and organs, but also provides sensation of temperature, pressure, vibration and haptics. It’s been of great interest to researchers to design and fabricate electronic skin (e-skin) with functionalities and mechanical properties comparable to natural skin, due to its great potential in robotics, prosthetics, healthcare, virtual reality and human-computer interface.


Dr. Jianliang Xiao and Dr. Wei Zhang developed a robust yet rehealable, fully recyclable and malleable e-skin based on dynamic covalent thermoset doped with conductive silver nanoparticles with tactile, temperature, flow and humidity sensing capabilities. The e-skin can be rehealed when it’s damaged, and can be fully recycled at room temperature. After rehealing or recycling, the e-skin regains mechanical and electrical properties comparable to the original e-skin. In addition, malleability enables the e-skin to permanently conform to complex, curved surfaces without introducing excessive interfacial stresses. These properties of the e-skin yield an economical and eco friendly technology that can find broad applications in robotics, prosthetics, healthcare, virtual reality and human-computer interface.


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  • High mechanical strength and chemical stability
  • Utilizes inexpensive commercially available monomers 
  • Can be easily scaled up formass production
  • Rehealingperformance is comparable to other self-healable e-skin
  • Excellent sensing performance for multi stimulations, incl. tactile, flow, temp, humidity
  • 100% recycled by solution process at room temperature enabling reduced manufacturing costs and an environmentally friendly process

Market Application

This has potential applications for:

  • Robotics
  • Prosthetics
  • Health monitoring
  • Biomedical devices
  • Virtual reality
  • Human computer inteface

What's Next?

This advanced technology applicable for various industries is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing. 


Nicole Forsberg: