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Inkjet Printing of Electrodes on Electrospun Micro- and Nanofiber Hydrophobic Membranes for Flexible and Smart Textile Applications

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With the increasing demand for smart textile and sensor applications, the interest in printed electronics is rising. In this study, we explore the applicability of electrospun membranes, characterized by high porosity and hydrophobicity, as potential substrates for printed electronics. The two most common inks, silver and carbon, were used in inkjet printing to create a conductive paths on electrospun membranes. As substrates, we selected hydrophobic polymers, such as polyimide (PI), low- and high-molecular-weight poly (vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) (PVB) and polystyrene (PS). Electrospinning of PI and PVB resulted in nanofibers in the range of 300–500 nm and PVB and PS microfibers (1–5 μm). The printed patterns were investigated with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and resistance measurements. To verify the biocompatibility of printed electrodes on the membranes, an indirect cytotoxicity test with cells (MG-63) was performed. In this research, we demonstrated good printability of silver and carbon inks on flexible PI, PVB and PS electrospun membranes, leading to electrodes with excellent conductivity. The cytotoxicity study indicated the possibility of using manufactured printed electronics for various sensors and also as topical wearable devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5043
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

    Research areas

  • cells, electrospinning, fibers, hydrophobicity, inkjet printing, membrane, printed electronics

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