Conducting polymer hydrogels based on supramolecular strategies for wearable sensors

This review summarizes typical supramolecular strategies for developing high-performance conducting polymer hydrogels (CPHs) and elucidates their properties relevant to wearable sensors. Additionally, it discusses the fabrication methods and classification of supramolecular CPH sensors and their latest applications in wearable devices. Finally, the review addresses these sensors’ challenges and provides suggestions for future developments.


Conductive polymer hydrogels (CPHs) are gaining considerable attention in developing wearable electronics due to their unique combination of high conductivity and softness. However, in the absence of interactions, the incompatibility between hydrophobic conductive polymers (CPs) and hydrophilic polymer networks gives rise to inadequate bonding between CPs and hydrogel matrices, thereby significantly impairing the mechanical and electrical properties of CPHs and constraining their utility in wearable electronic sensors. Therefore, to endow CPHs with good performance, it is necessary to ensure a stable and robust combination between the hydrogel network and CPs. Encouragingly, recent research has demonstrated that incorporating supramolecular interactions into CPHs enhances the polymer network interaction, improving overall CPH performance. However, a comprehensive review focusing on supramolecular CPH (SCPH) for wearable sensing applications is currently lacking. This review provides a summary of the typical supramolecular strategies employed in the development of high-performance CPHs and elucidates the properties of SCPHs that are closely associated with wearable sensors. Moreover, the review discusses the fabrication methods and classification of SCPH sensors, while also exploring the latest application scenarios for SCPH wearable sensors. Finally, it discusses the challenges of SCPH sensors and offers suggestions for future advancements.

Author list:

Zhiyuan Sun, Qingdong Ou, Chao Dong, Jinsheng Zhou, Huiyuan Hu, Chong Li, Zhandong Huang*

How to cite:

Z. Sun, Q. Ou, C. Dong, J. Zhou, H. Hu, C. Li, Z. Huang, Exploration 2024, 20220167.