Conducting polymers (CPs) are widely used in the microelectronics industry since the 1970s and more recently in the biomedical field. CPs are being used in biomedical applications for controlled release of a drug, evaluating the sensitivity of tissues and bones to electrical stimulation, and in tissue engineering. There have been limitations on the use of CPs in bioengineering due to poor solubility, poor interactions with the cells, hydrophobicity, and inability to degrade in the body. To combat these problems, surgical removal of the CP from the body or use of electroconductive nano-formulations have been used, but with little success. The unmet need is for the development of biocompatible, biodegradable, and conductive biomaterials with tunable conductivity and physical properties. This innovation provides a new class of conductive polymer-based biomaterial to fulfill these requirements.


Technology Overview

The present technology is a new class of conductive polymer-based biomaterials through bio-ionic liquid (BIL) functionalization of different biopolymers. BILs are low melting organic salts with low volatility, high ionic conductivity, and electrochemical stability, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. Researchers at Northeastern University have chemically conjugated BILs to various synthetic and natural polymers to obtain a combination with high biocompatibility for biomedical applications. These injectable hydrogel formulations can be used to form 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering applications or 2D substrates for engineering actuators. The chemical conjugation does not affect the biological and physical characteristics of the biopolymers. These BIL functionalized hydrogels can address the current limitations of existing technologies, provide high potential for various tissue engineering applications.



  • Biocompatible and biodegradable conducting polymer

  • Improved conductivity

  • Ease of synthesis 

  • Tunable mechanical and electrical properties

  • Applicable to a wide range of synthetic and natural polymers

  • Safe and injectable

  • Ability to combine BIL with soft lithography and 3D bioprinting


  • Tissue engineering (cardiac, muscle, and brain tissue regeneration)

  • Batteries

  • Biosensor applications

  • Drug delivery systems

  • Substrates for flexible electronics, and bio-actuator

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Nasim Annabi
Iman Noshadi
biomaterial-based scaffold