Self-Healing Hydrogel Bioelectronics

Adv Mater. 2023 Nov 21:e2306350. doi: 10.1002/adma.202306350. Online ahead of print.


Hydrogels have emerged as powerful building blocks to develop various soft bioelectronics because of their tissue-like mechanical properties, superior bio-compatibility, the ability to conduct both electrons and ions, and multiple stimuli-responsiveness. However, hydrogels are vulnerable to mechanical damage, which limits their usage in developing durable hydrogel-based bioelectronics. Self-healing hydrogels aim to endow bioelectronics with the property of repairing specific functions after mechanical failure, thus improving their durability, reliability, and longevity. This review discusses recent advances in self-healing hydrogels, from the self-healing mechanisms, material chemistry, and strategies for multiple properties improvement of hydrogel materials, to the design, fabrication, and applications of various hydrogel-based bioelectronics, including wearable physical and biochemical sensors, supercapacitors, flexible display devices, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), implantable bioelectronics, etc. Furthermore, the persisting challenges hampering the development of self-healing hydrogel bioelectronics and their prospects are proposed. This review is expected to expedite the research and applications of self-healing hydrogels for various self-healing bioelectronics.

Keywords: flexible TENGs; flexible supercapacitors; implantable bioelectronics; self-healing hydrogels; self-healing mechanisms; soft display devices; wearable sensors.

Publication types

  • Review