Nonlinearly Frequency-Adaptive, Self-Powered, Proton-Driven Somatosensor Inspired by a Human Mechanoreceptor

Kyoung Yong Chun, Young Jun Son, Seunghwan Seo, Ho Jung Lee, Chang Soo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the human skin, it has been well known that several mechanoreceptors uniquely sense external stimuli with specific frequencies and magnitudes. With regard to sensitivity, the output response shows nonlinearity depending on the frequency magnitude of the stimulus. We demonstrate a self-powered proton-driven solid-state somatosensor, which mimics a unique nonlinear response and intensity behavior of human mechanoreceptors. For this, a solid-state sensor is fabricated by combining a piezoelectric film and a proton generation device. The proton injection electrode and the Nafion layer conjugated with sulfonated graphene oxide are used for proton generation and transport. Two types of nonlinear signals from the sensor are similar to the Merkel/Ruffini (low deviation of threshold intensity), and in contrast, the behavior of Pacinian/Meissner (high deviation of threshold intensity) is simultaneously shown. The region of the most responsive frequency is also discriminated according to proton conduction. Moreover, it is asserted that unique signal patterns are obtained from the stimuli of various frequencies, such as respiration, radial artery pulse, and neck vibration, which naturally occur in the human body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Korea University Grants and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2019R1A2C1002355 and NRF-2018R1A2A1A05023556).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • frequency-adaptive
  • mechanoreceptor
  • nonlinear
  • proton conduction
  • self-powered
  • somatosensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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