Paper-based wearable electronics

iScience. 2021 Jun 17;24(7):102736. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102736. eCollection 2021 Jul 23.


Skin-interfaced wearable electronics can find a broad spectrum of applications in healthcare, human-machine interface, robotics, and others. The state-of-the-art wearable electronics usually suffer from costly and complex fabrication procedures and nonbiodegradable polymer substrates. Paper, comprising entangled micro- or nano-scale cellulose fibers, is compatible with scalable fabrication techniques and emerges as a sustainable, inexpensive, disposable, and biocompatible substrate for wearable electronics. Given various attractive properties (e.g., breathability, flexibility, biocompatibility, and biodegradability) and rich tunability of surface chemistry and porous structures, paper offers many exciting opportunities for wearable electronics. In this review, we first introduce the intriguing properties of paper-based wearable electronics and strategies for cellulose modifications to satisfy specific demands. We then overview the applications of paper-based devices in biosensing, energy storage and generation, optoelectronics, soft actuators, and several others. Finally, we discuss some challenges that need to be addressed before practical uses and wide implementation of paper-based wearable electronics.

Keywords: Biodevices; Bioelectronics; Electronic materials.

Publication types

  • Review