Professor Hossam Haick (pictured above) and his team at Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a device that allows people with prosthetics to sense touch and environmental changes like humidity and temperature. It's flexible sensor made out of gold particles and resin that can be embedded in electronic skin, or e-skin.
While e-skin isn't a brand new concept, this sensor is even closer to real human skin than other versions. Professor Haick claims that their artificial skin is "at least 10 times more sensitive in touch than the currently existing touch-based e-skin systems."
Haick explains that the sensor is made of gold nanoparticles and organic connector molecules called ligands that surround it for protection — like a flower, where the nanoparticles are the center and the ligands form the petals. Since the sensor can pick up on slight pressure changes, it could also be useful in other capacities, like identifying structural issues on bridges.