Stretchable, Biocompatible, and Multifunctional Silk Fibroin-Based Hydrogels toward Wearable Strain/Pressure Sensors and Triboelectric Nanogenerators.
AbstractNowadays, great effort has been devoted to establishing wearable electronics with excellent stretchability, high sensitivity, good mechanical strength, and multifunctional characteristics. Herein, a soft conductive hydrogel is rationally designed by proportionally mixing silk fibroin, polyacrylamide, graphene oxide, and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate). The resultant hydrogel has considerable stretchability and compressibility, which enables it to be assembled into a strain/pressure sensor with a wide sensing range (strain, 2%-600%; pressure, 0.5-119.4 kPa) and reliable stability. Then, the corresponding sensor is capable of monitoring a series of physical signals of the human body (e.g., joint movement, facial gesture, pulse, breathing, etc.). In particular, the hydrogel-based sensor is biocompatible, with no anaphylactic reaction on human skin. More interestingly, this conductive hydrogel exhibits a positive response when it works in a triboelectric nanogenerator; consequently, it lights up 20 commericial green light-emitting diodes. Thus, this silk fibroin-based hydrogel is a kind of multifunctional material toward wearable electronics with versatile applications in health and exercise monitors, soft robots, and power sources.