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Organic bioelectronics: addressing the interface challange

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Bioelectronics is considered the future of medicine as it is not only contributing to the basic understanding of biological systems but also to clinical diagnostics and therapeutics through tissue-electronics interfaces. A major challenge facing their successful medical applications is the development of compatible and functional interface technologies that enable biological to electronic signal transduction. This central consideration is driving the “rise of organic bioelectronics” [1]. Critical to this rise has been the incorporation of conjugated polymers (CPs) as the electrically active component. CPs are soft, flexible and mechanically tunable; thus more compatible with tissue than inorganic electronics. The attractive properties of CPs have largely been demonstrated in in vitro applications while their in vivo application is limited to coatings for inorganic electrodes to allow for more intimate electronic contact between the device and the tissue [2]. Examples of the challenges that have been hindering the translation into the complex physiological environment include electronic stability and integration with the host tissue. A lack of versatile chemistries for functional CPs underpin these challenges. By manipulating the chemistry of CPs and employing controlled design strategies, we develop novel bioelectronics with the aim to address the aforementioned limitations [3-6]. [1] Rivnay, J., Owens, R. M. & Malliaras, G. G. Chem. Mater. 26, 679–685 (2014). [2] Martin, D. C. MRS Commun. 5, 131–153 (2015). [3] Mawad, D. et al. Chem. Mater. 28, 6080–6088 (2016). [4] Jiang, L. et al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 9, 44124–44133 (2017). [5] Mawad, D. et al. Sci. Adv. 2, e1601007 (2016). [6] Cui, C. et al. Biomater. Sci. 6, 493–500 (2018).

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