Toward organic electronics with properties inspired by biological tissue
The carbon framework common to both organic semiconductors and biological structures suggests that these two classes of materials should be easily integrated. Substantial work, however, will be required to endow synthetic electroactive materials with properties resembling those of biological tissue, which exhibits extreme elasticity, biodegradability, and the capacity for self-repair. This Highlight reviews successful integration of organic semiconductor devices with biological systems, for example, in wearable and implantable health monitors and prosthetic devices. It then points to recent work in the areas of molecularly stretchable electronics, whole devices that can degrade under physiological conditions, and conjugated polymers capable of self-healing, which together suggest the possibility of a future in which organic electronics and biological tissue can interact seamlessly.