Colorimetric Ionic Organohydrogels Mimicking Human Skin for Mechanical Stimuli Sensing and Injury Visualization
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Artificial skins with sensing ability have great potential in applications of wearable devices and soft robotics. Inspired by the functions of human skins including sensing stimuli via electrical signal and bruising for injury indication, an ionic conductive and mechanochromic organohydrogel is synthesized and demonstrated as ionic skin (I-skin). The gel consisting of mechanochromophore cross-linked micelles is mechanically robust, stretchable, and deformation durable with minor hysteresis, and it also displays good solvent retention. The change of relative resistance during elongation and compression suggests a high sensitivity. An optical change from pale yellow to bruise-like blue-purple color is observed under a large deformation. The ionic conductive organohydrogel as I-skin is attached to different parts of the human body with movements mimicking various body-bruising scenarios, demonstrating successful perception and visualization of mechanical stimuli. The work vividly presents a strain sensor with the functions of injury visualization and damage warning for mechanical impacts. The I-skin can be potentially used in the applications including prosthetic devices, wearable electronics, and intelligent robots.
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