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Skin

In the not-too-distant future, burn victims may be able to recover in the half the time than is possible today. If so, it will be thanks to a biodegradable dressing that applies cultured skin cells directly to the wound site. Read More
An experimental nanoparticle therapy cuts in half the time wounds take to heal compared to natural healing. The therapy has already been tested successfully in mice and will soon be tried on pigs, whose skin is similar to that of humans. If it reaches clinical use in humans, this sort of nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed healing of surgical incisions, chronic skin ulcers, and everyday cuts and burns and other wounds. Read More
While a wrist-worn smartwatch may be easier to access than a smartphone that has to be retrieved from a pocket, the things certainly have tiny screens. That could make them rather difficult to use for certain tasks, particularly ones where a larger interface area is needed. Well, that's where iSkin comes in. The experimental system allows users to control mobile devices using flexible, stretchable stickers that adhere to their skin. Read More
You've probably heard about pens with conductive ink, that allow users to draw circuits onto materials such as paper. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have gone a step or two farther – they've created "bio-inks" that could be used to draw sensors onto a variety of surfaces, using an ordinary ballpoint pen. Read More
As more people get tattooed, more of those people regret having done so. The tattoo removal business is huge, generating around $75 million in the US alone. Laser ablation is the most common removal method, but now a 27-year-old PhD student in Canada has come up with a cream that promises a gentler, safer method to get rid of undesired tattoos. Read More
The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases. Read More
How would you like to be able to sense magnetic fields? It could come in handy, given that some animals navigate and maintain their spatial orientation by doing so. Well, we've now come one step closer to humans having that ability, too. Scientists from Germany's Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, along with colleagues from the University of Tokyo and Osaka University, have developed a thin, flexible magnetoresistive sensory foil that can be applied to a person's own natural skin. Read More
A fresh study carried out by researchers from King's College London (KCL) has established a link between a certain form of bacteria present on the skin following a surface wound and a type of white blood cell receptor, that together tip the scale away from the normal healing process and instead encourage the formation of cancerous tumors. The results of the study have the potential to create innovative treatment options for patients suffering from skin diseases, such as those that result in chronic ulcers and severe blistering. Read More
Excessive exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of skin deterioration, causing it to age prematurely. We need some exposure, however, in order to synthesize vitamin D – plus who wants to stay in the shade all the time? Using a good sunscreen definitely helps, although scientists from the University of British Columbia are taking things a step farther – they're developing a drug that could ultimately prevent the sunlight-related aging of skin. Read More
We've already seen artificial skin capable of sensing touch and prosthetics that sense texture, but now a group of Korean scientists has come up with a stretchable electronic skin that "feels" in three dimensions. The artificial skin is made from arrays of microscopic domes that interlock and deform when pressed. It can detect the intensity, location, and direction of pressure, whether from an object or a mere gust of wind. Read More