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All in the Fingertips: "Smart Glove" Could Change Surgery

This electronic sensor-infused stretchy fingertip-cover lets doctors feel the body’s electric activity.

Surgical tools beware; researchers are developing a smart glove that could become the only device needed for procedures like ultrasound scans and removing unwanted tissue.


Materials engineer John Rogers and his colleagues have made an electronic sensor-infused stretchy fingertip-cover that looks like the condom of the future.

The fingertip device was molded from gold conductive lines and ultra-thin silicon and can receive and transmit electric signals, essentially making the smart-gloved hand able to feel the body’s electric activity without other devices.

For the device, normally hard semiconductors were made flexible. The researchers’ future plans for this now-pliable “smart” material include a skin that would cover the heart and act as a sensor and diagnostic device.

See the full study published by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and Dalian University of Technology in Nanotechnology.

Medical jargon aside, it’s a step towards surgical robots that could both get information and make diagnoses by simply touching the body and aide doctors to conduct surgery without tools like scalpels.

Photo via Daily Mail

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