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Adhesive aero-hydrogel hybrid conductor assembled from silver nanowire architectures


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Conductive and adhesive hydrogels are promising materials for designing bioelectronics. To satisfy the high conductivity of bioelectronic devices, metal nanomaterials have been used to fabricate composite hydrogels. However, the fabrication of a conductive-nanomaterial-incorporated hydrogel with high performance is a great challenge because of the easy aggregation nature of conductive nanomaterials making processing difficult. Here, we report a kind of adhesive aero-hydrogel hybrid conductor (AAHC) with stretchable, adhesive and anti-bacteria properties by in situ formation of a hydrogel network in the aerogel-silver nanowires (AgNWs) assembly. The AgNWs with good conductivity are well-integrated on the inner-surface of shape-memory chitosan aerogel, which created a conductive framework to allow hydrogel back-filling. Reinforcement by the aerogel-silver makes the hybrid hydrogel tough and stretchable. Functional groups from the hydrogel allow strong adhesion to wet tissues through molecular stitches. The inherent bacteria-killing ability of silver ions endows the conductive hydrogel with excellent anti-bacteria performance. The proposed facile strategy of aerogel-assisted assembly of metal nanomaterials with hydrogel opens a new route to incorporate functional nanoscale building blocks into hydrogels.


具有粘合性能的导电水凝胶是一种非常有前景的生物电子材料, 其中金属纳米材料通常被用作添加材料以提高水凝胶的导电性. 然而, 由于纳米导电材料在水凝胶中极容易聚集, 使得高导电率的金属纳米材料复合水凝胶难以制备. 本文中, 我们通过在壳聚糖-银纳米线复合气凝胶中原位形成水凝胶网络, 设计并制备了一种可导电、 可拉伸、 可粘合、 可抗菌的新型多功能水凝胶. 高导电性能的银纳米线在具有形状记忆性能的气凝胶内表面集成为导电通路, 并且气凝胶还对复合水凝胶起到增强、 增韧的效果, 银离子固有杀菌能力也使得该导电水凝胶具有优异的抗菌性能. 最后, 灌注在气凝胶中的水凝胶分子链上的活性官能团, 使得复合水凝胶可以通过分子缝线牢固地结合在湿态生物组织表面. 本文提出的这种气凝胶辅助导电水凝胶组装的新策略, 为实现将功能单元与水凝胶组装及复合提供了一条新途径.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51732011, 51702310, 21431006, and 21761132008), the Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21521001), the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (QYZDJ-SSW-SLH036), the Users with Excellence and Scientific Research Grant of Hefei Science Center of CAS (2015HSC-UE007), and Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (1808085ME115).

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Authors and Affiliations



Author contributions Yu SH and Pan Z conceived the idea and designed the experiments. Yu SH supervised the project and wrote the paper. Pan Z and Wang ZY designed and carried out the experiments, performed the experiments, collected and analyzed the data, and wrote the paper. Wang MH and Yang L designed and carried out the in vitro and in vivo antibacterial and biocompatibility experiments. All authors discussed the results.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shu-Hong Yu  (俞书宏).

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Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Zhao Pan received his bachelor degree in pharmacy from Lanzhou University, China in 2012. Since then he has been conducting research at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) under the supervision of Prof. Shu-Hong Yu. His research interest is the design and fabrication of biomedical materials.

Shu-Hong Yu completed his PhD from the USTC. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Masahiro Yoshimura (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and a Humboldt fellow with Prof. Markus Antonietti and Helmut Cölfen (MPI of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany). In 2002, he was appointed the Cheung Kong Professor at USTC. Currently, he leads the Division of Nanomaterials & Chemistry at Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, USTC. He was elected as an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2019. His current research interests include bio-inspired synthesis and self-assembly of new nanostructured materials and nanocomposites, and their related properties.

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Pan, Z., Wang, ZY., Wang, MH. et al. Adhesive aero-hydrogel hybrid conductor assembled from silver nanowire architectures. Sci. China Mater. 64, 2868–2876 (2021).

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