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'Hydroprinted' Electronic Skin for Prosthetics and Wearable Health Monitors

Researchers from the University of Coimbra in Portugal and Carnegie Mellon University, reporting in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials & Interfaces, have developed ultrathin, stretchable electronics that can be easily transferred to 3D objects. These circuits could be used in electronic skin to help machines and humans interact. The circuit is fabricated by printing the pattern over a temporary tattoo paper using a desktop laser printer, which is then coated with a silver ink and eutectic gallium–indium (EGaIn) liquid metal alloy. The researchers have demonstrated various medical applications including electronic tattoos for human skin and LEDs transferred over the 3D-printed shell of a robotic prosthetic hand.