Three-Dimensional Printed Bimodal Electronic Skin with High Resolution and Breathability for Hair Growth

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2022 Volume 14, Issue 27, Pages 31493-31501

People with neurological deficits face difficulties perceiving their surroundings, resulting in an urgent need for wearable electronic skin (e-skin) that can monitor external stimuli and temperature changes. However, the monolithic structure of e-skin is not conducive to breathability and hinders hair growth, limiting its wearing comfort. In this work, we prepared fully three-dimensional (3D) printed e-skin that allowed hair penetration and growth. This e-skin also achieved simultaneous pressure and temperature detection and a high tactile resolution of 100 cm–2, which is close to that of human fingertips. The temperature sensor maintained linear measurements within 10–60 °C. The pore microstructure prepared by a sacrificial template method helped the pressure-sensing unit achieve a high sensitivity of 0.213 kPa–1. Considering the distribution of human hair, the design of the main structure of the e-skin was studied to realize hair penetration and growth. High-performance pressure-sensitive inks and transparent flexible substrate inks for 3D printing were developed, and e-skins combining these functions were realized through multimaterial in situ 3D printing with high accuracy and high consistency. The temperature and pressure sensors separately performed simultaneous detection without interference, and the tactile sensor array accurately identified stimuli at different locations.