Scientist have discovered self healing polymers that could be used as synthetic human skin

You know we are passionate about science and the skin and so here is another interesting news piece that may leave you sat on the edge of your seat… self healing synthetic skin. This all sounds very futuristic and ‘Terminator’ like, but according to WiredNews, soon it really will be possible to have synthetic skin that can heal itself, which will be particularly useful for those who have skin healing problems or those that have been subject to unrepairable injury. Could skin grafts be a thing of the past? ‘How on earth does this stuff work’? …I hear you say.

Scientists began by looking into synthetic skin for prosthetics, so that those who had been affected by injury, could regain the sense of touch (this is a generalisation, as there is a lot more to it in the way of how it all actually works… like electronic currents and brain signals and things). Investigations were made further when researchers found polymers that react in a similar way to the self healing qualities of human skin. This lead them to believe that it may be possible to generate, what is essentially, synthetic skin made from plastics or rubbers, that can heal themselves. The discovery is said to have been a scientific break through, but is still being developed.

Due to the nature of our daily lives and activities, our skin needs to manage a whole plethora of functions. Not only does it need to be sensitive to touch, hold in and be permeable to moisture, protect our nerves and circulatory system, and heal itself if it gets damaged, but it needs to have a flexible, smooth texture and allow for us to move easily within it, and also to adapt to our bodies growth and change. This is a rather demanding feat for scientists to find something that will replicate all of these actions, but this hasn’t stopped a team of chemical engineers in California from trying.

Science never fails to surprise us, and in a short time, we may be able to use this technology in medicine. Let’s hope the engineers succeed. Great news on the skin care and medicine front!

To read more, click on the link below:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/synthetic-skin/

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