They managed to grow living human skin around a robotic finger

“Living skin is the ultimate solution to give robots the look and feel of living creatures,” said Takeuchi, as reflected in the future360 portal.

His research team chose a robotic finger for the experiment because this mechanism is well studied and is a critical part of a robot, he said.

building the skin

Human-like skin is made from the same basic components as human skin, Takeuchi said.

The robotic finger was first immersed in a solution of collagen, which is a fibrous protein, and human dermal fibroblasts, the two main components that make up human skin. Dermal fibroblasts are the main cell type in the connective tissue of the skin.

After the solution settled around the finger, Takeuchi applied human epidermal keratinocytes to the outside. A keratinocyte is the main type of cell that makes up the human epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, he said.

In tests, elastic human skin moved freely as the finger made different movements, Takeuchi said. His team placed a collagen bandage on a part of the injured finger to repair it, and the robot was able to move freely after the protein repaired the skin.


Collagen is an important component of human skin and has healing properties, according to a 2021 study.

The skin could also repel water, which expanded the tasks the robot could perform.

According to the study, when the researchers used a robot with wet surface material, Styrofoam beads were glued onto it. These beads are commonly used as filler material in products such as bean bags and some stuffed animals.

When the scientists tried the same experiment with water-repelling human-like skin, the robotic finger was able to remove the foam beads without them sticking together, the authors said.

The study was published in the journal Matter.

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