Food-Inspired, High-Sensitivity Piezoresistive Graphene Hydrogels

Adel A. K. Aljarid, Kevin L. Doty, Cencen Wei, Jonathan P. Salvage, Conor S. Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a societal need for electronic materials to meet sustainability standards to facilitate the creation of easily disposed of green devices. Commonly, polymer-based materials applied to create strain-sensing devices utilize hazardous solvents and nonrecyclable resources that are unsuitable for these goals. Here, we demonstrate a simple system based on food-grade algae that we mix with a pristine, aqueous graphene suspension to create nanocomposite films that were processed into biodegradable hydrogels, again using food-based culinary products. We report our hydrogels to have record low Young’s moduli of ∼0.6 Pa for a nanocomposite and record high gauge factors of G ∼ 50 for a hydrogel system. Our sustainable graphene algae hydrogels were so sensitive that they could measure an object just 2 mg in mass, equivalent to a single rain droplet, impacting their surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1820–1827
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.K.A.A., K.L.D., C.W., and C.S.B. acknowledge funding from the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau and the University of Sussex Strategic Development Fund. C.S.B. thanks Oisín R. Boland for his help with revisions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • biodegradable
  • food-grade
  • nanocomposite
  • strain sensing
  • impact sensing
  • brown algae


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