Zwitterionic Skins with A Wide Scope of Customizable Functionalities




Zhouyue Lei, and Peiyi Wu*. Zwitterionic Skins with a Wide Scope of Customizable Functionalities. ACS Nano 2018, 12, 12860-12868.




With growing interests in the fields of wearable devices, it is crucial yet rather challenging to develop skin-like soft conductive materials with customizable functionalities and human tissue-compatible mechanical properties. Previously-reported electronic skins struggle to meet the demands for transparence, mechanical adaptability and stable conductivity during deformation. The recent rise of ionic skins with inorganic salts or ionic liquids doping provides the intrinsic stretchability, however, dilemmas remain for their limited functionalities such as a monotonous appearance and a narrow scope of mechanical and sensory properties. Herein, we design a type of zwitterionic hydrogels from the perspective of molecular interactions, which sucessfully combines ultra-stretchability (> 10000% strain), high strength (~ 300 kPa), self-healability (at room temperature within 12 h), 3D printability, distinct stimuli-responsibility, biocompatibility and antibacterial activity. The wide spectrum of such excellent properties is rarely reported before, and able to fabricate bio-inspired intelligent skins recreating multiple sensations and mechanical properties of human skin, covering a broad range of sensitivity, and displaying tunable visual effect. We believe this work will inspire the programming of stimuli-responsive skin-like materials and contribute to the smart devices for information transformation between natural and artificial interfaces.