Robot with living skin1 min read
A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo have built a robotic finger that is covered with living skin. The researchers grown a real human skin cells around the robot finger which heal itself when injured with the help of a collagen bandage in laboratory. The skin thus grown is water-repellent and wrinkles up when the robot’s finger makes movements. They used skin equivalents that is used to treat severe burns which are made of living human skin cells and hydrogels made of collagen. The researchers effectively grew skin on top of a robot finger by culturing the dermis (the middle layer of human skin) on the robot finger using a mixture of collagen and dermal fibroblasts. Then, they seeded this dermis with keratinocytes, which are cells that make up the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), and finally developed a robot finger covered with living human skin equivalent. The team is also working towards reproducing some of the organs found in skin viz., sensory cells, hair follicles and sweat glands.