Flexible electronic/optoelectronic systems that can intimately integrate onto the surfaces of vital organ systems have the potential to offer revolutionary diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities relevant to a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders. The critical interfaces between such technologies and living tissues must provide soft mechanical coupling and efficient optical/electrical/chemical exchange. Here, we introduce a functional adhesive bioelectronic–tissue interface material, in the forms of mechanically compliant, electrically conductive, and optically transparent encapsulating coatings, interfacial layers or supporting matrices. These materials strongly bond both to the surfaces of the devices and to those of different internal organs, with stable adhesion for several days to months, in chemistries that can be tailored to bioresorb at controlled rates. Experimental demonstrations in live animal models include device applications that range from battery-free optoelectronic systems for deep-brain optogenetics and subdermal phototherapy to wireless millimetre-scale pacemakers and flexible multielectrode epicardial arrays. These advances have immediate applicability across nearly all types of bioelectronic/optoelectronic system currently used in animal model studies, and they also have the potential for future treatment of life-threatening diseases and disorders in humans.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was generously funded by the Leducq Foundation project RHYTHM and the National Institutes of Health (R01-HL141470 to I.R.E. and J.A.R.). This work made use of the NUFAB facility of Northwestern University’s NUANCE Center, which received support from the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource (NSF ECCS-2025633); the MRSEC programme (NSF DMR-1720139) at the Materials Research Center; the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN); the Keck Foundation; the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics; the Keck Biophysics Facility, a shared resource of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, which received support in part by the NCI Cancer Center Support (P30 CA060553); the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (RRID:SCR_021192); Northwestern University; and the State of Illinois, through the IIN. R.T.Y. acknowledges support from the American Heart Association (19PRE34380781). M.W. acknowledges support from the National Institutes of Health (T32 AG20506). Z.X. acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (12072057), LiaoNing Revitalization Talents Program (XLYC2007196) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT20RC(3)032). K.A. acknowledges support from the National Institutes of Health (5K99-HL148523-02). Y.H. acknowledges support from the National Foundation of Science (CMMI1635443). Y.K. acknowledges support from the National Institutes of Health (R01NS107539 and R01MH117111), Beckman Young Investigator Award, Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award and Searle Scholar Award. The diagrams of the mouse body with organs in Fig. 1f were created with BioRender.com.
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering