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Keywords:

  • biomaterials;
  • conducting polymers;
  • interfaces;
  • medical devices;
  • flexible electronics

Abstract

Advanced polymeric biomaterials continue to serve as a cornerstone for new medical technologies and therapies. The vast majority of these materials, both natural and synthetic, interact with biological matter in the absence of direct electronic communication. However, biological systems have evolved to synthesize and utilize naturally-derived materials for the generation and modulation of electrical potentials, voltage gradients, and ion flows. Bioelectric phenomena can be translated into potent signaling cues for intra- and inter-cellular communication. These cues can serve as a gateway to link synthetic devices with biological systems. This progress report will provide an update on advances in the application of electronically active biomaterials for use in organic electronics and bio-interfaces. Specific focus will be granted to covering technologies where natural and synthetic biological materials serve as integral components such as thin film electronics, in vitro cell culture models, and implantable medical devices. Future perspectives and emerging challenges will also be highlighted.