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Flexible Alginate Hydrogels: Enabling On-Tissue Writable Bioelectronics

Abstract

Bo Jiang*

This study introduces a novel approach utilizing flexible alginate hydrogels as a platform for on-tissue writable bioelectronics. Alginate hydrogels possess several advantageous properties, such as biocompatibility, mechanical flexibility, and the ability to conduct and adhere to various tissue surfaces. Leveraging these characteristics, we developed a conductive and adhesive granular alginate hydrogel system that allows seamless integration with biological tissues. The granular alginate hydrogels were engineered by incorporating conductive nanoparticles into the alginate matrix, enabling electrical conductivity while maintaining the hydrogel's flexibility. The adhesive properties were achieved through the introduction of specific functional groups that promote strong adhesion to tissue surfaces. This unique combination of conductivity and adhesion facilitates the creation of on-tissue writable bioelectronics, enabling precise and localized electrical stimulation or sensing. To demonstrate the versatility and potential applications of our flexible alginate hydrogel system, we successfully fabricated on-tissue writable electrodes and sensors. These devices exhibited excellent conformability, conforming to the irregular contours of various tissues, such as skin, organs, and neural tissues. The granular alginate hydrogel enabled direct writing and patterning of conductive tracks on tissue surfaces, providing a simple and customizable approach for bioelectronic circuitry design.

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