Tissue-like skin-device interface for wearable bioelectronics by using ultrasoft, mass-permeable, and low-impedance hydrogels.

Science advances (2021-05-09)
Chanhyuk Lim, Yongseok Joseph Hong, Jaebong Jung, Yoonsoo Shin, Sung-Hyuk Sunwoo, Seungmin Baik, Ok Kyu Park, Sueng Hong Choi, Taeghwan Hyeon, Ji Hoon Kim, Sangkyu Lee, Dae-Hyeong Kim

Hydrogels consist of a cross-linked porous polymer network and water molecules occupying the interspace between the polymer chains. Therefore, hydrogels are soft and moisturized, with mechanical structures and physical properties similar to those of human tissue. Such hydrogels have a potential to turn the microscale gap between wearable devices and human skin into a tissue-like space. Here, we present material and device strategies to form a tissue-like, quasi-solid interface between wearable bioelectronics and human skin. The key material is an ultrathin type of functionalized hydrogel that shows unusual features of high mass-permeability and low impedance. The functionalized hydrogel acted as a liquid electrolyte on the skin and formed an extremely conformal and low-impedance interface for wearable electrochemical biosensors and electrical stimulators. Furthermore, its porous structure and ultrathin thickness facilitated the efficient transport of target molecules through the interface. Therefore, this functionalized hydrogel can maximize the performance of various wearable bioelectronics.

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Acrylamide, suitable for electrophoresis, ≥99%
N,N′-Methylenebisacrylamide, powder, for molecular biology, suitable for electrophoresis, ≥99.5%
Rhodamine B, ≥95% (HPLC)
Iron(III) chloride, reagent grade, 97%
Potassium chloride, ACS reagent, 99.0-100.5%
N,N,N′,N′-Tetramethylethylenediamine, BioReagent, for molecular biology, ≥99% (GC)