Perspectives on recent advancements in energy harvesting, sensing and bio-medical applications of piezoelectric gels

Thangavel Vijayakanth, Sudha Shankar, Gal Finkelstein-Zuta, Sigal Rencus-Lazar, Sharon Gilead, Ehud Gazit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The development of next-generation bioelectronics, as well as the powering of consumer and medical devices, require power sources that are soft, flexible, extensible, and even biocompatible. Traditional energy storage devices (typically, batteries and supercapacitors) are rigid, unrecyclable, offer short-lifetime, contain hazardous chemicals and possess poor biocompatibility, hindering their utilization in wearable electronics. Therefore, there is a genuine unmet need for a new generation of innovative energy-harvesting materials that are soft, flexible, bio-compatible, and bio-degradable. Piezoelectric gels or PiezoGels are a smart crystalline form of gels with polar ordered structures that belongs to the broader family of piezoelectric material, which generate electricity in response to mechanical stress or deformation. Given that PiezoGels are structurally similar to hydrogels, they offer several advantages including intrinsic chirality, crystallinity, degree of ordered structures, mechanical flexibility, biocompatibility, and biodegradability, emphasizing their potential applications ranging from power generation to bio-medical applications. Herein, we describe recent examples of new functional PiezoGel materials employed for energy harvesting, sensing, and wound dressing applications. First, this review focuses on the principles of piezoelectric generators (PEGs) and the advantages of using hydrogels as PiezoGels in energy and biomedical applications. Next, we provide a detailed discussion on the preparation, functionalization, and fabrication of PiezoGel-PEGs (P-PEGs) for the applications of energy harvesting, sensing and wound healing/dressing. Finally, this review concludes with a discussion of the current challenges and future directions of P-PEGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6191-6220
Number of pages30
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number17
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry


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