Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/5/2004
Citation: Finkenstadt, V.L., Willett, J.L. 2004. Natural polysaccharides as electroactive biomaterials [abstract]. BioEnvironmental Polymer Society. p.133:355.
Technical Abstract: Electroactive polymers (EAPs), a new class of materials, have the potential to be used for applications like biosensors, environmentally sensitive membranes, controlled release devices, artificial muscles, actuators, corrosion protection, and components in high energy batteries. The commericialization of EAPs, however, has so far been severly limited. Biological polymers offer a degree of functionality not available in most synthetic EAPs. Carbohydrate polymers are produced with great frequency in nature. Starch, cellulose, and chitin are some of the most abundant natural polymers on earth. Data will be presented showing that natural polysaccharides with minimal processing can express ranges of electroactivity from insulative to semi-conductive. The electroactive biomaterials are solid polymer electrolytes (70% solids) rather than gel electrolytes (5% solids). We demonstrate that starch-based electroactive biomaterials reach conductance levels (10-5 S/cm) comparable with synthetic ion-conducting EAPs.