Conductive elastomers present desirable qualities for sensing pressure in-vivo, such as high piezoresistance in tiny volumes, conformability and, biocompatibility. Many electrically conductive nanocomposites however, are susceptible to electrical drift following repeated stress cycles and chemical aging. Here we propose an innovative approach to stabilize nanocomposite percolation network against incomplete recovery to improve reproducibility and facilitate sensor calibration. We decouple the tunnelling-percolation network of highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) nanoparticles from the incomplete viscoelastic recovery of the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix by inserting minute amounts of insulating SiO2 nanospheres. SiO2 nanospheres effectively reduce the number of nearest neighbours at each percolation node switching of the parallel electrical pathways that might become activated under incomplete viscoelastic relaxation. We varied the size of SiO2 nanospheres and their filling fraction to demonstrate nearly complete piezoresistance recovery when SiO2 and HOPG nanoparticles have equal diameters (400nm) and SiO2 and HOPG volume fractions are 1% and 29.5% respectively. We demonstrate an in-vivo blood pressure sensor based on this bi-filler composite.
Original languageEnglish
Article number213905
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Early online date28 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


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