Who we are

The Polymer Research in Therapeutics (PRinT) group focuses on developing organic bioelectronic devices using novel, functional conjugated polymers and biopolymer composites. Our multidisciplinary team brings together expertise from chemistry, physics, biology and materials science.

Research Program

Conjugated polymers exhibit electronic and ionic conductivity, providing better interaction with biological systems, while having no pesky oxide layer that decreases conductivity. Soft and flexible bioelectronics focuses on the development of conjugated polymer-based devices applied at the interface with electro-responsive tissues. Achieving this goal requires a multidisciplinary approach:

  • Chemistry is relevant to the synthesis of new, electroactive materials
  • Physics aids us in implementing these materials in devices
  • Biology allows us to optimise the interface between these devices and biological systems
  • Materials science helps us understand the optical, electronic, and morphological properties of these materials

 

Synthesis of organic conductive materials

We apply versatile chemistries to enable the introduction of functional groups on the polymer to modulate the interface between the conjugated polymer and tissue. Furthermore, through these modifications the polymer can be made water soluble, which is a significant benefit in terms of processability, morphological control, and fine tuning of physical properties.

 

Synthetic approaches

 

 

Device physics and optoelectronics

We aim to create flexible and conformable bioelectronic devices with tunable performances independent of the device footprint. We provide guidelines for the design of materials that will lead to state-of-the-art bioelectronics. We exploit the electronic properties of these materials to build bioelectronic circuitry and their optoelectronic properties to create wireless devices.

 

Bioelectronic circuits

 

Biointegration of devices

We want to improve the integration of bioelectronic devices with tissue. Implantable bioelectronic devices should have an intimate contact with the electroresponsive tissue in order to stimulate or process electrophysiological signals. This can be achieved by changing the morphology of the polymer and understanding the sterilization process applied to these devices.  In both cases, it is crucial to investigate the effects on the functional properties of the device and its immune response in vivo.

 

Biointerface figure

 

Team members