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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090989

Biodegradable Polycarbonate Iongels for Electrophysiology Measurements

1
POLYMAT, Joxe Mari Korta Center, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Avda. Tolosa 72, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
2
Electrical Eng. Division, Dept. of Eng., University of Cambridge, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0FA, UK
3
Department of Bioelectronics, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, CMP-EMSE, MOC, 13541 Gardanne, France
4
Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, 48011 Bilbao, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers: Design, Function and Application)
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Abstract

In recent years, gels based on ionic liquids incorporated into polymer matrices, namely iongels, have emerged as long-term contact media for cutaneous electrophysiology. Iongels possess high ionic conductivity and negligible vapor pressure and can be designed on demand. In spite of the extensive efforts devoted to the preparation of biodegradable ionic liquids, the investigations related to the preparation of iongels based on biodegradable polymers remain scarce. In this work, biodegradable polycarbonate-based iongels are prepared by ring-opening polymerization of N-substituted eight ring membered cyclic carbonate monomers in the presence of imidazolium lactate ionic liquid. Our iongels are able to take up 10–30 wt % of ionic liquid and become softer materials by increasing the amount of free ionic liquid. Rheological measurements showed that the cross-over point between the storage modulus G′ and loss modulus G″ occurs at lower angular frequencies when the loading of free ionic liquid increases. These gels are able to take up to 30 wt % of the ionic liquid and the ionic conductivity of these gels increased up to 5 × 10−4 S·cm−1 at 25 °C as the amount of free ionic liquid increased. Additionally, we assess the biodegradation studies of the iongels by immersing them in water. The iongels decrease the impedance with the human skin to levels that are similar to commercial Ag/AgCl electrodes, allowing an accurate physiologic signals recording. The low toxicity and biodegradability of polycarbonate-based iongels make these materials highly attractive for cutaneous electrophysiology applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: iongels; polycarbonate; electrophysiology; electrodes; biodegradable iongels; polycarbonate; electrophysiology; electrodes; biodegradable
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Y. Yuen, A.; Porcarelli, L.; H. Aguirresarobe, R.; Sanchez-Sanchez, A.; del Agua, I.; Ismailov, U.; G. Malliaras, G.; Mecerreyes, D.; Ismailova, E.; Sardon, H. Biodegradable Polycarbonate Iongels for Electrophysiology Measurements. Polymers 2018, 10, 989.

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