Mechanosensor Based on Arrayed Dome-shaped Flemion
Introduction Mechanosensors are found throughout nature, for example, in both plant and animal tissue, specific cells are capable of sensing mechanical movement. Remarkably, some cells sense mechanical forces in three dimensions. Mimicking these types of sensors with human-made materials represents an exciting breakthrough in mechanosensor technology. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new set of flexible mechanosensors using electroactive polymer (EAP) Flemion. The dome-shaped sensor has strong sensing capabilities upon applied force and stable signals and is able to sense vectorial forces in all directions (3D). The sensors are energy efficient because they do not require applied electrical power for sensing; signals are electric potential flows. Arrayed sensors are employed as tactile sensing false-skin and represent promising new advances prosthetic limb technology. Business opportunity Mechanosensors are used in numerous applications including dynamic prosthetics. The US market for prosthetics is growing at an annual rate of approximately 9.9%
and is projected to by $10.8 Billion by 2010. Stage of development Initial data exist for this technology. Intellectual property position The technology is available for licensing. The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.
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