Dinesh K. Patel a, Tejal V. Patil b, Keya Ganguly a, Sayan Deb Dutta a, Ki-Taek Lim a,b
aDepartment of Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Forest Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
bInterdisciplinary Program in Smart Agriculture, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
Corresponding author : Ki-Taek Lim
Transparent hydrogels have found increasing applications in wearable electronics, printable devices, and tissue engineering. Integrating desired properties, such as conductivity, mechanical strength, biocompatibility, and sensitivity, in one hydrogel remains challenging. To address these challenges, multifunctional hydrogels of methacrylate chitosan, spherical nanocellulose, and β-glucan with distinct physicochemical characteristics were combined to develop multifunctional composite hydrogels. The nanocellulose facilitated the self-assembly of the hydrogel. The hydrogels exhibited good printability and adhesiveness. Compared with the pure methacrylated chitosan hydrogel, the composite hydrogels exhibited improved viscoelasticity, shape memory, and conductivity. The biocompatibility of the composite hydrogels was monitored using human bone marrow-derived stem cells. Their motion-sensing potential was analyzed on different parts of the human body. The composite hydrogels also possessed temperature-responsiveness and moisture-sensing abilities. These results suggest that the developed composite hydrogels demonstrate excellent potential to fabricate 3D-printable devices for sensing and moist electric generator applications.