Researchers Investigate Medical Applications of Graphene

July 21, 2010 – 12:03 pm

A new form of paper made of super-thin sheets of carbon could help fight disease-causing bacteria in applications including anti-bacterial bandages.

A new form of paper with the built-in ability to fight disease-causing bacteria. Potential medical applications of the material include anti-bacterial bandages. A report about the new material, which consists of the thinnest possible sheets of carbon, appears in ACS Nano, a monthly journal.

Chunhai Fan, Qing Huang and colleagues from the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics explained that scientists in the United Kingdom first discovered the material, known as graphene, in 2004. Since then, the race has been on to find commercial and industrial uses for graphene. Scientists have tried to use graphene in solar cells, computer chips and sensors. Fan and Huang decided to see how graphene affects living cells.

So they made sheets of paper from graphene oxide, and then tried to grow bacteria and human cells on top. Bacteria were unable to grow on the paper, and it had little adverse effect on human cells. “Given the superior antibacterial effect of graphene oxide and the fact that it can be mass-produced and easily processed to make freestanding and flexible paper with low-cost, we expect this new carbon nanomaterial may find important environmental and clinical applications,” the reports states.

The full paper can be viewed at ACS Nano.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Researchers Investigate Medical Applications of Graphene”

  2. The Graphene nanomaterials can have several potential applications in medical sciences. Graphene nanomaterials can be used for synthesis of prosthetic (artificial) nerve, repairing damaged nerve tissues and in nerve regeneration particularly in spinal cord injuries. Also graphene nanomaterials can have usage in prosthetic limbs i.e bioelectronic hands or legs. Graphene can also be used for visually impaired persons, as retinal and ocular material for the visually impaired persons. Thus it appears that in future these applications may become a reality.

    By Manoj GT on Feb 4, 2013

  3. Thank you for your comment. Graphene could indeed have many applications in medical technology, but more research is needed on this material. Did you see that EC just awarded about €1 Billion to a research project on graphene? We just wrote about it here: Clearly, the material has much potential in medicine and beyond.

    By camilla on Feb 4, 2013

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