Semiconducting Polymers for Neural Applications

Ivan B. Dimov, Maximilian Moser, George G. Malliaras, Iain McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Electronically interfacing with the nervous system for the purposes of health diagnostics and therapy, sports performance monitoring, or device control has been a subject of intense academic and industrial research for decades. This trend has only increased in recent years, with numerous high-profile research initiatives and commercial endeavors. An important research theme has emerged as a result, which is the incorporation of semiconducting polymers in various devices that communicate with the nervous system─from wearable brain-monitoring caps to penetrating implantable microelectrodes. This has been driven by the potential of this broad class of materials to improve the electrical and mechanical properties of the tissue-device interface, along with possibilities for increased biocompatibility. In this review we first begin with a tutorial on neural interfacing, by reviewing the basics of nervous system function, device physics, and neuroelectrophysiological techniques and their demands, and finally we give a brief perspective on how material improvements can address current deficiencies in this system. The second part is a detailed review of past work on semiconducting polymers, covering electrical properties, structure, synthesis, and processing.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemical Reviews
StatePublished - Jan 28 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-02-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR–2018-CRG/CCF–3079, OSR–2019-CRG8-4086, OSR–2018-CRG7–3749.
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge financial support from KAUST, including Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) awards no. OSR–2018-CRG/CCF–3079, OSR–2019-CRG8-4086, and OSR–2018-CRG7–3749. The authors acknowledge funding from ERC Synergy Grant SC2 (610115), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 952911, project BOOSTER, and grant agreement no. 862474, project RoLAFLEX, EPSRC Project EP/T026219/1, as well as EPSRC Project EP/T004908/1. The authors also thank Xavier Pita, scientific illustrator at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, for the creation of Figure 1.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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