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Title: 3D printed architected conducting polymer hydrogels
Conducting polymer hydrogels combine electrical conductivity and tunable water content, rendering them strong candidates for a range of applications including biosensors, cell culture platforms, and energy storage devices. However, these hydrogels are mechanically brittle and prone to damage, prohibiting their use in emerging applications involving dynamic movement and large mechanical deformation. Here, we demonstrate that applying the concept of architecture to conducting polymer hydrogels can circumvent these impediments. A stereolithography 3D printing method is developed to successfully fabricate such hydrogels in complex lattice structures. The resulting hydrogels exhibit elastic compressibility, high fracture strain, enhanced cycling stability, and damage-tolerant properties despite their chemical composition being identical to their brittle, solid counterparts. Furthermore, concentrating the deformation to the 3D geometry, rather than polymer microstructure, effectively decouples the mechanical and electrical properties of the hydrogel lattices from their intrinsic properties associated with their chemical composition. The confluence of these new physical properties for conducting polymer hydrogels opens broad opportunities for a myriad of dynamic applications.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Chemistry B
Page Range / eLocation ID:
7258 to 7270
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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