Stretchable conductive hydrogel electrodes for soft tissue stimulation
Published : 13 December 2016
The development of biocompatible, flexible and stretchable electronic devices for soft tissue stimulation is a great challenge. The main goal of the PhD is the design and study of new electrode materials which originality lies in the combination of two crosslinked polysaccharide systems incorporating a conducting polymer. These organic conductive tracks will be deposited on stretchable chitosan-PEG films whose mechanical properties can be well controlled. The electrical, mechanical, and structural properties of the materials will be characterized. Their biocompatibility will be assessed by standard assays, and the electrodes will be tested in rodents (targeted application: treatment of chronic back pain). These biocompatible stretchable electrodes will allow for this application to i) improve the lifetime of implants by reducing the risks of material rupture due to fatigue or excessive stretching, ii) improve tissue adhesion to the electrode, and iii) prevent scar tissue formation. In general, such conductive stretchable materials would be of high interest to overcome different challenges (stretchability, flexibility, biocompatibility) in the design of implanted or portable biosensors.