Polymer mixed conductors for applications in bioelectronics

7th December 2022

Timing : 1 pm EST

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Direct measurement and stimulation of ionic, biomolecular, cellular, and tissue-scale activity is a staple of bioelectronic diagnosis and/or therapy. Such bi-directional interfacing can be enhanced by a unique set of properties imparted by organic electronic materials. These materials, based on conjugated polymers, can be adapted for use in biological settings and show significant molecular-level interaction with their local environment, readily swell, and provide soft, seamless mechanical matching with tissue. At the same time, their swelling and mixed conduction allows for enhanced ionic-electronic coupling for transduction of biosignals. Structure-transport properties allow us to better understand and design these active materials, providing further insight into the role of molecular design and processing on ionic and electronic transport, charging phenomena, and stability for the development of high-performance devices. Such properties stress the importance of bulk transport processes and serve to enable new capabilities in bioelectronics. Control of ionic transport and trapping, for example, presents a promising avenue towards the development of non-volatile electrochemical transistors that can mimic basic neural function. In addition, the bulk transport properties of OMIECs enable device concepts that achieve co-localization of sensing with signal processing including amplification of electrophysiological and biochemical signals. These developments highlight the role of materials design for addressing critical needs in bio-electronic interfacing.