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Adv Mater. 2019 Jan;31(1):e1803883. doi: 10.1002/adma.201803883. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

Tactile Chemomechanical Transduction Based on an Elastic Microstructured Array to Enhance the Sensitivity of Portable Biosensors.

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International Collaborative Laboratory of 2D Materials for Optoelectronics Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, Shenzhen Engineering Laboratory of Phosphorene and Optoelectronics, College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, 3688 Nanhai Avenue, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518060, China.
Innovative Center for Flexible Devices (iFLEX), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore, 639798, Singapore.
Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Target Research and State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361102, P. R. China.


Tactile sensors capable of perceiving biophysical signals such as force, pressure, or strain have attracted extensive interest for versatile applications in electronic skin, noninvasive healthcare, and biomimetic prostheses. Despite these great achievements, they are still incapable of detecting bio/chemical signals that provide even more meaningful and precise health information due to the lack of efficient transduction principles. Herein, a tactile chemomechanical transduction strategy that enables the tactile sensor to perceive bio/chemical signals is proposed. In this methodology, pyramidal tactile sensors are linked with biomarker-induced gas-producing reactions, which transduce biomarker signals to electrical signals in real time. The method is advantageous as it enhances electrical signals by more than tenfold based on a triple-step signal amplification strategy, as compared to traditional electrical biosensors. It also constitutes a portable and general platform capable of quantifying a wide spectrum of targets including carcinoembryonic antigen, interferon-γ, and adenosine. Such tactile chemomechanical transduction would greatly broaden the application of tactile sensors toward bio/chemical signals perception which can be used in ultrasensitive portable biosensors and chemical-responsive chemomechanical systems.


chemomechanical transduction; healthcare; microstructured arrays; signal amplification; tactile sensors

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