Stretchable piezoelectric biocrystal thin films

Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 17;14(1):6562. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-42184-8.


Stretchability is an essential property for wearable devices to match varying strains when interfacing with soft tissues or organs. While piezoelectricity has broad application potentials as tactile sensors, artificial skins, or nanogenerators, enabling tissue-comparable stretchability is a main roadblock due to the intrinsic rigidity and hardness of the crystalline phase. Here, an amino acid-based piezoelectric biocrystal thin film that offers tissue-compatible omnidirectional stretchability with unimpaired piezoelectricity is reported. The stretchability was enabled by a truss-like microstructure that was self-assembled under controlled molecule-solvent interaction and interface tension. Through the open and close of truss meshes, this large scale biocrystal microstructure was able to endure up to 40% tensile strain along different directions while retained both structural integrity and piezoelectric performance. Built on this structure, a tissue-compatible stretchable piezoelectric nanogenerator was developed, which could conform to various tissue surfaces, and exhibited stable functions under multidimensional large strains. In this work, we presented a promising solution that integrates piezoelectricity, stretchability and biocompatibility in one material system, a critical step toward tissue-compatible biomedical devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Hardness
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*