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Metal-polymer conductor printed for elastic bio-device

Penelitian - The researchers created a new hybrid conductive material as part of elastic polymer and liquid metal that can be bent and stretched at will. The Chinese team of scientists reporting new findings at iScience is a circuit using materials for two-dimensional and non-toxic forms called metals-polymer conductor (MPC).

Metal-polymer conductor (MPC) is a combination of two components with very different properties. Metals are unrecognized conductive solids, such as copper, silver, or gold, but gallium and indium are viscous liquids that still allow electricity.

Penelitian Metal-polymer conductor printed for elastic bio-device

"This is the first flexible electronics that is highly conductive, elastic, fully biocompatible, and made easily across the size scale with micro-precision features.This invention has extensive applications for wearable electronic devices and embedded devices," said Xingyu Jiang from the National Center for NanoScience and Technology in Beijing.

Clumps of molten metal mixture into the silicon-based polymer support network to produce a mechanical resistant material with conductivity to support the circuit. The MPC structure will ensure the full conductivity that researchers successfully apply as sensors for keyboard gloves and electrodes to stimulate DNA through living cell membranes.

"The application of MPC depends on the polymer. We are transmitting super elastic polymers for stretchable circuits. We use biocompatible and biodegradable polymers for implanted devices. In the future, we build soft robots by combining electroactive polymers," said Lixue Tang of the National Center for NanoScience and Technology in Beijing.

The method for making MPC involves screen printing and microfluidic patterns to accommodate two-dimensional geometry, thickness and different electrical properties depending on the concentration of liquid metal ink to be sprayed. The device leads directly to biomedical applications such as flexible patches to identify and alleviate heart disease.

"We want to develop biocompatible materials to build a wearable or implantable device for diagnosing and treating diseases without sacrificing quality of life. This is the first step towards changes in cardiovascular and other management," Jiang said.

Journal : Lixue Tang et al. Printable Metal-Polymer Conductors for Highly Stretchable Bio-Devices, iScience, 14 June 2018, DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2018.05.013