Fingerprints make us unique

France - Le journal du CNRS described the work of two researchers who were interested in unsuspected capacity of our fingerprints.

Fingerprints are unique among every human being. But these "identity cards" would also have an important role in our ability to feel what can slip through our hands.

The team of Professors and Prevost Debrégeas past the surface of our fingers in detail and found fine structures on the surface of the skin that create vibrations when we moved our fingers on an object. These structures are two times larger than the diameter of a hair.

The vibrations created by touching an object sends a signal to nerve cells "mécanoréceptrices" located in the dermis. These are the cells that make us feel the pressure when, for example, a subject we slip from his hands. The role of fingerprints in this process would be to amplify some of the vibration.

Researchers must now demonstrate how vibration amplified by fingerprints can increase their performance to feel as finely textured and smooth objects.

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