Implantable medical devices of the future could be built from a new material that is made by layering bacterial cellulose hydrogels with conducting polymers.
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a naturally occurring polymer hydrogel that is flexible and known to respond to environmental changes. Guang Yang and co-workers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, added a layer of conductive polymer polyaniline (PAni) onto a BC hydrogel to give a material that responds to electrical signals.
The base cellulose hydrogel is made by Gluconacetobacter xylinum bacteria. After purification, the hydrogel is soaked for 48 hours in a solution of salts and aniline monomers. The gel is then sandwiched between two electrodes, and applying an electrical current causes the monomers to form a polymer film layer.
Interested to know more? Read the full news article by Cally Haynes in Chemistry World here…
Read the article by Zhijun Shi, Ying Li, Xiuli Chen, Hongwei Han and Guang Yang in Nanoscale:
Double networks bacterial cellulose hydrogel to build a biology–device interface
Zhijun Shi, Ying Li, Xiuli Chen, Hongwei Han and Guang Yang
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05214A, Paper