Silicate-based electro-conductive inks for printing soft electronics and tissue engineering




Samimi Gharaie, Sadaf
Seyfoori, Amir
Khun Jush, Bardia
Zhou, Xiong
Pagan, Erik
Godau, Brent
Akbari, Mohsen

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Hydrogel-based bio-inks have been extensively used for developing three-dimensional (3D) printed biomaterials for biomedical applications. However, poor mechanical performance and the inability to conduct electricity limit their application as wearable sensors. In this work, we formulate a novel, 3D printable electro-conductive hydrogel consisting of silicate nanosheets (Laponite), graphene oxide, and alginate. The result generated a stretchable, soft, but durable electro-conductive material suitable for utilization as a novel electro-conductive bio-ink for the extrusion printing of different biomedical platforms, including flexible electronics, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. A series of tensile tests were performed on the material, indicating excellent stability under significant stretching and bending without any conductive or mechanical failures. Rheological characterization revealed that the addition of Laponite enhanced the hydrogel’s mechanical properties, including stiffness, shear-thinning, and stretchability. We also illustrate the reproducibility and flexibility of our fabrication process by extrusion printing various patterns with different fiber diameters. Developing an electro-conductive bio-ink with favorable mechanical and electrical properties offers a new platform for advanced tissue engineering.



3D printing, electrically conductive bio-ink, Laponite, graphene oxide


Samimi Gharaie, S., Seyfoori, A., Khun Jush, B., Zhou, X., Pagan, E., Godau, B., & Akbari, M. (2021). “Silicate-based electro-conductive inks for printing soft electronics and tissue engineering.” Gels, 7(4), 240.