It’s been a successful few months for the Green Group!

Alexey’s paper “Stretchable bioelectronics: Mitigating the challenges of the percolation threshold in conductive elastomers” was published in APL Materials this past October.

The work introduces a gel conductive elastomer composite, formed from a bulk elastomeric PDMS matrix and a continuous conductive PEDOT:PSS gel network. Such structures permit the composites to perform outside of the traditional percolation threshold paradigm. As a result, the  composites exhibited a higher electrochemical performance at a lower conductive polymer content, with enhanced mechanical behavior when compared to metallic or neat CP systems used in electrode technologies. The fabricated samples have shown that the matrix mechanically supports the conductive phase, which is capable of conducting charge carriers under both wet and dry conditions with a conductive polymer content as low as 1.8 wt. %.

Just one month later, Catalina and Martina’s paper “Hydrogels for 3D Neural Tissue Models: Understanding Cell-Material Interactions at a Molecular Level” was published in Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology.

In this study a poly (vinyl alcohol) biosynthetic hydrogel functionalized with gelatin and sericin (PVA-SG), was used to understand the interplay between cell-cell communication and cell-material interaction. This was used to probe critical short-term interactions that determine the success or failure of neural network growth and ultimately the development of a useful model.

This work demonstrates the importance of understanding astrocyte-material interactions at the molecular level, with the need to address spatial constraints in the 3D hydrogel environment. These findings will inform the design of future hydrogel constructs with greater capacity for remodelling by the cell population to create space for cell migration and neural process extension.

Check out the full articles in our Publications page!