Numerous efforts have been attempted to mimic human tongue since years. However, they still have limitations because of damages, temperature effects, detection ranges etc. Herein, a self-healable hydrogel-based artificial bioelectronic tongue (E-tongue) containing mucin as a secreted protein, sodium chloride as an ion transporting electrolyte, and chitosan/poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic acid) as the main 3D structure holding hydrogel network is synthesized. This E-tongue is introduced to mimic astringent and bitter mouth feel based on cyclic voltammetry (CV) measurements subjected to target substances, which permits astringent tannic acid (TA) and bitter quinine sulfate (QS) to be detected over wide corresponding ranges of 29.3 mM-0.59 μM and 63.8 mM-6.38 μM with remarkable respective sensitivities of 0.2 and 0.12 wt%−1. Besides, the taste selectivity of this E-tongue is performed in the presence of various mixed-taste chemicals to show its high selective behavior toward bitter and astringent chemicals. The electrical self-healability is shown via CV responses to illustrate electrical recovery within a short time span. In addition, cytotoxicity tests using HeLa cells are performed, where a clear viability of ≥95% verified its biocompatibility. The anti-freezing sensing of E-tongue tastes at −5 °C also makes this work to be useful at sub-zero environments. Real time degrees of tastes are detected using beverages and fruits to confirm future potential applications in food taste detections and humanoid robots.
- Bioelectronic tongue
- Self-healable hydrogels