(5g) Conductive Polymer and Hydrogel Composites as Functional Biomaterials

Bayer, C. L. - Presenter, The University of Texas at Austin
Peppas, N. A. - Presenter, University of Texas at Austin

Conductive polymers have been extensively researched for the creation of polymer electronics, such as thin film transistors, photovoltaics and organic light emitting diodes. In these devices, the processability and mechanical properties of conductive polymers are improved in comparison to traditional inorganic materials. Though less explored, these same properties encourage the use of conductive polymers in biomedical applications. In particular, conductive polymers may be chemically and physically tailored to be similar to established biomaterials, with the added feature of possessing unique electrical properties. The incorporation of these electrical properties in biomaterials presents opportunities for systems integration in biomaterials.

Through this research we seek to develop a new sensing mechanism for the detection of human proteins and peptides relevant to specific disease states. Development of fabrication methods, materials characterization, functionality testing and assessment of biocompatibility have all been performed on a type of water-dispersible polyaniline (PANI). This material is highly conductive and solutions-processable due to the synthesis process, which involves templating the aniline monomer on a polyelectrolyte chain, in this case poly(2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid) (PAAMPSA), to synthesize PANI-PAAMPSA. The processability enables integration into of the PANI-PAAMPSA as a component in a water-based hydrogel polymerization to form a semi-IPN with conductive properties.

This work was supported by the NSF-IGERT program grant DGE-0333080.