Toward a new generation of smart skins

Nat Biotechnol. 2019 Apr;37(4):382-388. doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0079-1. Epub 2019 Apr 2.


Rapid advances in soft electronics, microfabrication technologies, miniaturization and electronic skins are facilitating the development of wearable sensor devices that are highly conformable and intimately associated with human skin. These devices-referred to as 'smart skins'-offer new opportunities in the research study of human biology, in physiological tracking for fitness and wellness applications, and in the examination and treatment of medical conditions. Over the past 12 months, electronic skins have been developed that are self-healing, intrinsically stretchable, designed into an artificial afferent nerve, and even self-powered. Greater collaboration between engineers, biologists, informaticians and clinicians will be required for smart skins to realize their full potential and attain wide adoption in a diverse range of real-world settings.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / trends
  • Biotechnology / instrumentation
  • Biotechnology / trends
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / etiology
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / trends
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Skin / anatomy & histology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / adverse effects
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / trends*