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Biomaterials. 2010 Apr;31(10):2701-16. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.12.052. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Electroconductive hydrogels: synthesis, characterization and biomedical applications.

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1
ABTECH Scientific, Inc., Biotechnology Research Park, 800 East Leigh Street, Richmond, VA 23219, USA. guiseppi@clemson.edu

Abstract

Electroconductive hydrogels (ECHs) are composite biomaterials that bring together the redox switching and electrical properties of inherently conductive electroactive polymers (CEPs) with the facile small molecule transport, high hydration levels and biocompatibility of cross-linked hydrogels. General methods for the synthesis of electroconductive hydrogels as polymer blends and as polymer co-networks via chemical oxidative, electrochemical and/or a combination of chemical oxidation followed by electrochemical polymerization techniques are reviewed. Specific examples are introduced to illustrate the preparation of electroconductive hydrogels that were synthesized from poly(HEMA)-based hydrogels with polyaniline and from poly(HEMA)-based hydrogels with polypyrrole. The key applications of electroconductive hydrogels; as biorecognition membranes for implantable biosensors, as electro-stimulated drug release devices for programmed delivery, and as the low interfacial impedance layers on neuronal prostheses are highlighted. These applications provide great new horizons for these stimuli responsive, biomimetic polymeric materials.

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