Iongels are soft ionic conducting materials, usually composed of polymer networks swollen with ionic liquids (ILs), which are being investigated for applications ranging from energy to bioelectronics. The employment of iongels in bioelectronic devices such as bioelectrodes or body sensors has been limited by the lack of biocompatibility of the ILs and/or polymer matrices. In this work, we present iongels prepared from solely biocompatible materials: (i) a biobased polymer network containing tannic acid as a cross-linker in a gelatin matrix and (ii) three different biocompatible cholinium carboxylate ionic liquids. The resulting iongels are flexible and elastic with Young's modulus between 11.3 and 28.9 kPa. The morphology of the iongels is based on a dual polymer network system formed by both chemical bonding due to the reaction of the gelatin's amines with the polyphenol units and physical interactions between the tannic acid and the gelatin. These biocompatible iongels presented high ionic conductivity values, from 0.003 and up to 0.015 S·cm-1 at room temperature. Furthermore, they showed excellent performance as a conducting gel in electrodes for electromyography and electrocardiogram recording as well as muscle stimulation.
- cholinium carboxylate ionic liquids