Medhealth Review

Ink that Mimics Human Skin in 3D

Flexible electronics have revolutionised wearable technology in a variety of ways, including the development of stretchable sensor devices, body-contouring patches, and implantable electronics of all kinds. The challenge they all face, though, is assimilating into the human body. Even though these pliable electronics are amazing, they are still constructed of materials with mechanical and biological characteristics that are not the same as those of the human body. in the past. Researchers at Texas A&M University have created biomaterial inks with characteristics similar to those of human skin, increasing the potential of 3D-printed electronics.

Consequently, what precisely is biomaterial ink? To create the new ink, scientists combined modified gelatin with a class of 2D nanomaterials with a thin layered structure. The result is a hydrogel that is somewhat similar to Jell-O and is flexible and highly conductive. Professor at Texas A&M University, Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar, claims, “This newly designed hydrogel ink is highly biocompatible and electrically conductive, paving the way for the next generation of wearable and implantable bioelectronics.”

How do 3D printers and ink work together? The ink has shear-thinning properties, similar to those of toothpaste or ketchup, that allow it to stay solid in a tube but flow like liquid when that tube is squeezed. Because of this characteristic, it is perfect for 3D printing. Additionally, the electrically conductive ink allows for the printing of a variety of intricate 3D circuits in a variety of configurations in addition to on flat surfaces. A&M researcher Kaivalya Deo clarifies, “These 3D-printed devices are extremely elastomeric and can be compressed, bent, or twisted without breaking [and] these devices are electronically active, enabling them to monitor dynamic human motion and paving the way for continuous motion monitoring.”

Where will this 3D ink probably be applied? According to researchers, this brand-new technology is perfect for the emerging market for electronic tattoos. Theoretically, an e-tattoo could monitor a patient’s movements, which for those with Parkinson’s disease frequently include tremors and slow, rigid body movements. Patients with Parkinson’s disease are particularly affected by this.

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