The recently published issue 22/2016 of Advanced Materials was a special issue on flexible and stretchable devices.
Wearable devices are becoming an integral part of our daily lives. They come in the form of clothing or accessories that incorporate computers and other advanced technologies. Applications range from communication and navigation to the monitoring of movement, heart rate, and other bodily functions.
Materials are key to the advancement of such devices. For optimal comfort, skin-like materials that can be flexed and stretched without adversely impacting performance are required. Incorporation of a power source, electronic circuit, sensor, and display are further considerations, as are cost-effective approaches to device fabrication and integration.
These aspects and more are highlighted in the recent Special Issue of Advanced Materials on flexible and stretchable devices, guest edited by Zhenan Bao (Stanford University) and Xiaodong Chen (Nanyang Technological University). The 28 articles, written by leading researchers in the field, encompass five main themes: mechanically durable materials, novel processing technologies, electronics and optoelectronics, energy storage and generation, and biomedical monitoring, and include both reviews and original research in the field.
Engagement from the materials science, chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering and energy research communities is critical to the success of this dynamic, multidisciplinary field of research. Progress has been rapid and many novel and life-changing applications can be anticipated, for example, automated glucose monitoring and insulin delivery for diabetic patients. This special issue provides a snapshot of the current state-of-the-art, as well as challenges and a vision for the future of this promising research area.