Dr. Sungwon Lee and Takao Someyo of the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Engineering have constructed a new kind of pressure sensor. It's so thin and flexible that it can be made into a glove.
What's special about their development is that unlike other flexible pressure sensors, this one can bend, twist, and have wrinkles but still give accurate results or measurements of pressure distortion.
The University of Tokyo team was able to achieve such a feat by creating a transparent sensor that's only 8 micrometers thin. That's like a strand of spider web silk! The sensor can measure pressure in 144 places at once. Because of that, the sensors put together can be used in surgical gloves for doctors to detect tumors just by touch.
Dr. Lee states "We've tested the performance of our pressure sensor with an artificial blood vessel and found that it could detect small pressure changes and speed of pressure propagation." Pretty amazing, right?
The team, as well as the rest of us, hopes that this technology will help and be used to detect early signs of breast cancer, which are easily missed by just using a rubber gloved-hand. Hopefully we'll see the day this will be used by medical professionals. It might be a long time from now, but it's bound to happen. As for us, we'd have to get regular checkups.
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