Electroresponsive Hydrogels for Therapeutic Applications in the Brain

Zerin M. Khan, Emily Wilts, Eli Vlaisavljevich, Timothy E. Long, Scott S. Verbridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Electroresponsive hydrogels possess a conducting material component and respond to electric stimulation through reversible absorption and expulsion of water. The high level of hydration, soft elastomeric compliance, biocompatibility, and enhanced electrochemical properties render these hydrogels suitable for implantation in the brain to enhance the transmission of neural electric signals and ion transport. This review provides an overview of critical electroresponsive hydrogel properties for augmenting electric stimulation in the brain. A background on electric stimulation in the brain through electroresponsive hydrogels is provided. Common conducting materials and general techniques to integrate them into hydrogels are briefly discussed. This review focuses on and summarizes advances in electric stimulation of electroconductive hydrogels for therapeutic applications in the brain, such as for controlling delivery of drugs, directing neural stem cell differentiation and neurogenesis, improving neural biosensor capabilities, and enhancing neural electrode-tissue interfaces. The key challenges in each of these applications are discussed and recommendations for future research are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2100355
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • biosensors
  • controlled delivery
  • electroconductive hydrogels
  • neural electrode interface
  • neural stem cell differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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