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Biomass-Based Hydrogels for Flexible Wearable Sensors

Submission Deadline: 28 February 2025 View: 5 Submit to Special Issue

Guest Editors

Prof. Xugang Dang, Associate Professor, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, China
Associate Professor Xugang Dang graduated from Sichuan University with the degree of Ph.D of Engineering in Leather Chemistry and Engineering. He worked at Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, where he is currently working in the College of Bioresources Chemistry and Materials Engineering. In 2020 he was conferred the title of full Associate Professor. Xugang Dang has more than 35 publications in scientific journals. His current research areas are biomass-based functional polymers.

Summary

In recent years, the application of flexible and conductive hydrogels with outstanding properties has garnered widespread attention in various fields, including flexible wearable devices, human motion monitoring, and soft robotics. Conductive hydrogels possess the ability to convert subtle variations in pressure, strain, temperature, and humidity into electrical signals, properties that are essential for flexible sensors. To enhance their conductivity, researchers have incorporated a range of advanced conductive materials, including carbon or carbide (carbon nanotubes and graphene) nanomaterials, metal nanoparticles (silver nanoparticles), and conductive polymers (polypyrrole and polyaniline). However, the addition of these materials frequently leads to the hydrogel exhibiting either opaque or mono-transparent properties, making it challenging to meet the visualization requirements of rapidly advancing human-computer interactions. Moreover, conductive nanomaterials or carbon-based materials are typically expensive and not easily degradable, posing significant challenges and complexities in the industrial production of conductive hydrogels for the field of flexible wearable devices. Furthermore, this also imposes significant pressure and burden on the environment. As is well documented, biomass polymer is the most abundant natural polymer in the environment, characterized by its affordability, availability, and renewability, as well as its excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, exhibiting significant potential in the field of hydrogel-based flexible sensing materials. Thus, the development and exploration of multifunctional biomass-based conductive hydrogels are the main research direction of flexible sensing materials in the future, with the intention of utilizing them in the field of flexible wearable electronics.


Keywords

Biomass; Hydrogel; Cellulose; Starch; Chitosan; Gelatin; Biopolymer; Flexible wearable electronics

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