Designing Next-Generation, Stretchable Bioelectronic Devices

Interdisciplinary Areas: Engineering and Healthcare/Medicine/Biology

Project Description

Flexible and stretchable bioelectronic devices are altering the manner in which the medical community monitors patients, collects data, and responds to crucial clinical needs. To date, however, the design of these emerging electronic devices has relied on well-known semiconducting and conducting materials. In this effort, we will directly challenge this paradigm through the use of tailored organic electronic molecules because polymer-based electronic materials offer advantages in terms of molecular tunability, biocompatibility, biochemical response specificity, mechanical properties, and low-cost manufacturability relative to their inorganic counterparts. To accomplish this aim, we will combine the expertise of a polymer chemistry and polymer physics group with the world-class abilities of a soft bioelectronics group in order to design stretchable biomedical systems using a “molecules-to-module” approach. Moreover, these bioelectronic devices will be evaluated in practical scenarios (e.g., as ultrathin, stretchable skin-mountable monitors for electrophysiological signals) in order to provide feedback to the macromolecular design such that rapid iteration to optimized macromolecular and device structure occurs. In this way, we envision mentoring a postdoctoral researcher that will develop and synthesize next-generation polymer semiconductors and conductors and utilize these materials in never-before-seen, high-impact biomedical systems in order to lead the field of intrinsically-stretchable bioelectronic materials and devices. 

Start Date


Postdoc Qualifications

The ideal postdoctoral researcher will be a highly-motivated and creative individual that is capable of working across an interdisciplinary team dedicated to the design of new organic electronic materials for high-impact flexible and stretchable bioelectronic devices. The candidate should have a solid background in polymer chemistry, macromolecular characterization techniques, and previous experience using nanostructural characterization equipment (e.g., electron microscopes). Importantly, the candidate should be open to engaging in the biomedical device community in order to learn and/or improve on the candidate’s skills with respect to in vitro and in vivo testing. While not a requirement, experience in fabricating integrated circuits will be viewed in a favorable light. The candidate should have solid oral and written communication skills. Moreover, the candidate should be open to significant mentoring from the co-advising team. Finally, the candidate should have a previous leadership experience, a record of mentoring junior researchers, and the desire to translate the skills learned at Purdue into the candidate’s future career as the leader of an independent research group. 
Bryan W. Boudouris (, Robert and Sally Weist Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor of Chemistry (by Courtesy),

Chi Hwan Lee (, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (Courtesy), 
1. “A Nonconjugated Radical Polymer Glass with High Electrical Conductivity,” Joo, Y.; Agarkar, V.; Sung, S. H.; Savoie, B. M.; Boudouris, B. W. Science 2018, 359, 1391-1395.

2. “Highly Transparent Cross-linkable Radical Copolymer Thin Film as the Ion Storage Layer in Organic Electrochromic Devices,” He, J.; Mukherjee, S.; Zhu, X.; You, L.; Boudouris, B. W.; Mei, J. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 18956-18963.

3. “Networked Nanocomposite Elastomers for Mechanically Reinforced Skin-electronics,” Han, S.; Kim, M.; Wie, D.; Wang, S.; Lee, C. H. Adv. Mat. 2016, 28, 46, 10257.

4. “Wafer-recyclable, environment-friendly transfer printing for large-scale thin film nanoelectronics,” Wie, D.; Zhang, Y.; Kim, M.; Kim, B.; Park, S.; Kim, Y.; Irazoqui, P.; Zheng, X,; Xu, B.; Lee, C. H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2018, 115, 7236–7242.

5. “Collection-limited Theory Interprets the Extra-ordinary Response of Single Semiconductor Organic Solar Cells,” Ray, B.; Baradwaj, A. G.; Khan, M. R.; Boudouris, B. W.; Alam, M. A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2015, 112, 11193–11198.