J Nanobiotechnology. 2022 Nov 19;20(1):491. doi: 10.1186/s12951-022-01684-3.
An increasing demand for bioelectronics that interface with living systems has driven the development of materials to resolve mismatches between electronic devices and biological tissues. So far, a variety of different polymers have been used as substrates for bioelectronics. Especially, biopolymers have been investigated as next-generation materials for bioelectronics because they possess interesting characteristics such as high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and sustainability. However, their range of applications has been restricted due to the limited compatibility of classical fabrication methods with such biopolymers. Here, we introduce a fabrication process for thin and large-area films of chitosan nanofibers (CSNFs) integrated with conductive materials. To this end, we pattern carbon nanotubes (CNTs), silver nanowires, and poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) by a facile filtration process that uses polyimide masks fabricated via laser ablation. This method yields feedlines of conductive material on nanofiber paper and demonstrates compatibility with conjugated and high-aspect-ratio materials. Furthermore, we fabricate a CNT neural interface electrode by taking advantage of this fabrication process and demonstrate peripheral nerve stimulation to the rapid extensor nerve of a live locust. The presented method might pave the way for future bioelectronic devices based on biopolymer nanofibers.