Soft materials in conjunction with stretchable circuit design enable electronics to evolve towards conformal bioinspired interfaces. Such stretchable, bioinspired devices are engineered to establish a synergy with living tissue to reactivate, repair, restore, or replace diminished/lost physiological functions due to disease or injury. The biointegration of such devices can be greatly enhanced through the use of low modulus materials matching key mechanical properties of soft biological tissues. Creating ultra-compliant electronics, however, requires not only elastic substrates (silicones, polyurethanes, and hydrogels) but also integration of electrical, optical and sensing functionalities within or on these elastic materials.
Soft electronics is envisaged to make an impact in conformable sensing, ranging from implantable soft neural electrodes to prosthetics or wearable sheets of ultra-thin compliant electronics for placement on skin. Such emerging applications have begun to demonstrate the integration of soft functional materials with the body through conducting polymers, liquid metal alloys, conductive hydrogels, nano-composite conductive elastic materials, strain engineered materials at various length scales by the use of CNT, metallic nanowires, micro-cracked films, stretchable conductive inks of graphene as well as ultra-compliant waveguides and materials whose optical properties are modulated by mechanical strain.
The symposium will be of interest to interdisciplinary scientists involved with the development, characterization and biointegration of soft functional materials and devices for a variety of bioinspired or biomedical applications. The symposium is open to all approaches on stretchable electronics, including but not limited to optics, organic and inorganic circuits and devices, and neural interfaces. A session will be dedicated to current approaches in soft functional materials, their characterization and the development of microfabrication strategies. Another session will focus on bioelectronic devices/implants using soft materials and their biological interfacing and integration.