Multiscale electrochemistry of hydrogels embedding conductive nanotubes
The local functionalities of biocompatible objects can be characterized under conditions similar to the operating ones, using scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). In the case of alginate beads entrapping carbon nanotubes (CNTs), SECM allows evidencing of the local conductivity, organization, and communication between the CNTs. It shows that the CNT network is active enough to allow long range charge evacuation, enabling the use of alginate/CNT beads as soft 3D electrodes. Direct connection or local interrogation by a microelectrode allows visualization of their communication as a network and eventually the study of them individually at the nanoscale.