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Title: Water-responsive supercontractile polymer films for bioelectronic interfaces
Authors: Yi, Junqi
Zou, Guijin
Huang, Jianping
Ren, Xueyang
Tian, Qiong
Yu, Qianhengyuan
Wang, Ping
Yuan, Yuehui
Tang, Wenjie
Wang, Changxian
Liang, Linlin
Cao, Zhengshuai
Li, Yuanheng
Yu, Mei
Jiang, Ying
Zhang, Feilong
Yang, Xue
Li, Wenlong
Wang, Xiaoshi
Luo, Yifei
Loh, Xian Jun
Li, Guanglin
Hu, Benhui
Liu, Zhiyuan
Gao, Huajian
Chen, Xiaodong
Keywords: Engineering::Materials
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Yi, J., Zou, G., Huang, J., Ren, X., Tian, Q., Yu, Q., Wang, P., Yuan, Y., Tang, W., Wang, C., Liang, L., Cao, Z., Li, Y., Yu, M., Jiang, Y., Zhang, F., Yang, X., Li, W., Wang, X., ...Chen, X. (2023). Water-responsive supercontractile polymer films for bioelectronic interfaces. Nature, 624(7991), 295-302.
Project: M23L8b0049
Journal: Nature
Abstract: Connecting different electronic devices is usually straightforward because they have paired, standardized interfaces, in which the shapes and sizes match each other perfectly. Tissue-electronics interfaces, however, cannot be standardized, because tissues are soft1-3 and have arbitrary shapes and sizes4-6. Shape-adaptive wrapping and covering around irregularly sized and shaped objects have been achieved using heat-shrink films because they can contract largely and rapidly when heated7. However, these materials are unsuitable for biological applications because they are usually much harder than tissues and contract at temperatures higher than 90 °C (refs. 8,9). Therefore, it is challenging to prepare stimuli-responsive films with large and rapid contractions for which the stimuli and mechanical properties are compatible with vulnerable tissues and electronic integration processes. Here, inspired by spider silk10-12, we designed water-responsive supercontractile polymer films composed of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(ethylene glycol)-α-cyclodextrin inclusion complex, which are initially dry, flexible and stable under ambient conditions, contract by more than 50% of their original length within seconds (about 30% per second) after wetting and become soft (about 100 kPa) and stretchable (around 600%) hydrogel thin films thereafter. This supercontraction is attributed to the aligned microporous hierarchical structures of the films, which also facilitate electronic integration. We used this film to fabricate shape-adaptive electrode arrays that simplify the implantation procedure through supercontraction and conformally wrap around nerves, muscles and hearts of different sizes when wetted for in vivo nerve stimulation and electrophysiological signal recording. This study demonstrates that this water-responsive material can play an important part in shaping the next-generation tissue-electronics interfaces as well as broadening the biomedical application of shape-adaptive materials.
ISSN: 0028-0836
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06732-y
Schools: School of Materials Science and Engineering 
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Organisations: Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR
Research Centres: Max Planck–NTU Joint Lab for Artificial Senses
Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS)
Innovative Center for Flexible Devices (iFLEX)
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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