Porous liquid metal-elastomer composites with high leakage resistance and antimicrobial property for skin-interfaced bioelectronics

Sci Adv. 2023 Jan 6;9(1):eadf0575. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adf0575. Epub 2023 Jan 6.

ABSTRACT

Liquid metal-elastomer composite is a promising soft conductor for skin-interfaced bioelectronics, soft robots, and others due to its large stretchability, ultrasoftness, high electrical conductivity, and mechanical-electrical decoupling. However, it often suffers from deformation-induced leakage, which can smear skin, deteriorate device performance, and cause circuit shorting. Besides, antimicrobial property is desirable in soft conductors to minimize microbial infections. Here, we report phase separation-based synthesis of porous liquid metal-elastomer composites with high leakage resistance and antimicrobial property, together with large stretchability, tissue-like compliance, high and stable electrical conductivity over deformation, high breathability, and magnetic resonance imaging compatibility. The porous structures can minimize leakage through damping effects and lower percolation thresholds to reduce liquid metal usage. In addition, epsilon polylysine is loaded into elastic matrices during phase separation to provide antimicrobial property. The enabled skin-interfaced bioelectronics can monitor cardiac electrical and mechanical activities and offer electrical stimulations in a mechanically imperceptible and electrically stable manner even during motions.

PMID:36608138 | DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adf0575

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