Highly stretchable supramolecular conductive self-healable gels for injectable adhesive and flexible sensor applications

Amir Khan, Ravinder Reddy Kisannagar, Chinmayananda Gouda, Dipti Gupta, Hong-Cheu Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Synergistic supramolecular networks of conductive self-healable gels (CSGs) containing polythioctic acid (PTA), Fe(3+)ion, pyromellitic acid (PA), and interpenetrating polyaniline (PANI) are synthesized and developed in this study. These non-covalent networks interlocked through physical (hydrogen, ionic, and coordination) bonds offer reversible supramolecular bonding and afford freely shapeable and injectable CSGs, which contribute to the high stretchability (more than 50-times elongation) as well as the ultrafast self-healable recoveries in mechanical and electrical timescales of 90 s and 0.7 s, respectively. The optimum supramolecular gel-based sensor shows an outstanding strain sensitivity (gauge factor = 11) along with a high tunable pressure sensitivity (2.8 kPa(-1)). The stable electrical performance with high durability (>800 cycles) and excellent adhering properties to a wide range of substrates facilitate the detection of large (joint motion) and subtle (muscle movement) deformations of the human body. The real-life applications of multifunctional CSGs are further investigated through human motion detection, adhesive applications, and injectable writing as conductive inks for potential 3D printing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19954-19964
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number38
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2020


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