A Supramolecular Biomimetic Skin Combining a Wide Spectrum of Mechanical Properties and Multiple Sensory Capabilities
Zhouyue Lei, and Peiyi Wu*. A Supramolecular Biomimetic Skin Combining a Wide Spectrum of Mechanical Properties and Multiple Sensory Capabilities. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 1134.
Biomimetic skin-like materials, capable of adapting shapes to variable environments and sensing external stimuli, are of great significance in a wide range of applications, including artificial intelligence, soft robotics, and smart wearable devices. However, such highly sophisticated intelligence has been mainly found in natural creatures while rarely realized in artificial materials. Herein, we fabricate a type of biomimetic iontronics to imitate natural skins using supramolecular polyelectrolyte hydrogels. The dynamic viscoelastic networks provide the biomimetic skin with a wide spectrum of mechanical properties, including flexible reconfiguration ability, robust elasticity, extremely large stretchability, autonomous self-healability, and recyclability. Meanwhile, polyelectrolytes’ ionic conductivity allows multiple sensory capabilities toward temperature, strain, and stress. This work provides not only insights into dynamic interactions and sensing mechanism of supramolecular iontronics, but may also promote the development of biomimetic skins with sophisticated intelligence similar to natural skins.