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Artificial skin and flexible cell phones – coming soon?

We've written in the past about the work of Stanford chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, PhD, who last year created a super stretchy material that can be used in the development of artificial muscle or skin. In a recent episode of Stanford's “Future of Everything” radio show, Bao spoke with host Russ Altman, MD, PhD, about her work and about other materials that can sense pressure, heal after injury and even interface with electronic devices.

When Altman inquired about other applications of these materials, including the possibility of flexible, bendable cell phones (!), Bao told him:

The cell phones that can fold... are going to be the early generation of the application for artificial skins. Basically the hinges for the foldable phones are going to be made with the stretchable electronic material that are similar to artificial skin. And then the next application we will see are applications where electronic sensors may be put onto a prosthetic limb to help regain the sense of feel for amputees.

The show originally aired last month on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. And a heads-up for local readers: Tickets for a live airing of Altman's May 2 show are now available.

Previously: The future of baby-making: Stanford's Russ Altman hosts a discussionNew, stretchy material could lead to artificial muscle or skinStanford engineers create artificial skin that can signal pressure sensation to brain and Ultra-thin flexible device offers non-invasive method of monitoring heart health, blood pressure
Thumbnail photo courtesy of Bao Research Group

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