Medicine

Researchers use engineered graphene material to improve the performance of intraneural peripheral nerve electrodes

Limb neuroprostheses aim to restore motor and sensory functions in amputated or severely nerve-injured patients. These devices use neural interfaces to record and stimulate nerve action potentials, creating a bidirectional connection with the nervous system. Most neural interfaces are based on standard metal microelectrodes. 

Left: a histological section of the nerve implanted with an electrode longitudinally. Right, an image of the sciatic nerve with an EGNITE electrode implanted transversely to allow stimulation and recording of nerve impulses. Image credit: UAB

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and ICN2 have demonstrated in animal models how Engineered Graphene for Neural Interface (EGNITE), a derivative of graphene, allows the creation of smaller electrodes, which can interact more selectively with the nerves they stimulate, thus improving the efficacy of the prostheses. The study also demonstrated that EGNITE is biocompatible, showing that its implantation is safe.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 12,2024

Researchers develop soft robotic gripper using graphene and liquid crystals

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have designed a soft robotic "hand" made from liquid crystals (LCs) and graphene, that could be used to design future surgical robots. 

One of the issues that need to be addressed before such robots can be used in operating rooms is to figure out how to precisely control and move these deformable robots. Also, many current soft robots contain metals, which means that their use in water-rich environments—like the human body—is rather limited.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 22,2024

iGii (formerly Integrated Graphene) secures investment of over $11 million

iGii, formerly Integrated Graphene, has announced it has raised £8.8 million (over USD$11.7 million) in new funding to accelerate growth. iGii will use the funds to accelerate customer projects, increase its manufacturing capacity, and deepen its research and development to explore further applications of its patented Gii material. iGii plans to expand its facilities and continue creating highly skilled local jobs.

The funding round was led by a £4 million injection from the Scottish National Investment Bank, with a further £4.8 million coming from existing iGii shareholders Archangel Investors and Par Equity, both of which first invested in the business in 2020.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 19,2024

Archer Biochip gFET design fabricated on a six-inch wafer by Graphenea's foundry

Archer Materials, a semiconductor company advancing the quantum technology and medical diagnostics industries, has fabricated one of its Biochip graphene field effect transistor (gFET) designs through a six-inch whole wafer run by its foundry partner in Spain, Graphenea.

Archer had sent the Biochip gFET design to Graphenea for fabrication through a whole wafer run in Dec 20231. The gFETs are designed with structures suitable for liquid multiplexing, with advances in chip design features, including in gating design and materials, to address technological challenges in maintaining graphene device stability from chip-to-chip.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 17,2024

Researchers develop graphene oxide spray coating for antiviral protection of face masks

Researchers at Spain's IMDEA Materials Institute, Rey Juan Carlos University and Valladolid University have developed a new spray coating to improve the antiviral efficacy of personal protective equipment, notably face masks.   

The team's system is based on nanoplatelets of graphene oxide (GO) spray coated via a simple one-step procedure over a poly(lactic acid) textile fabric, allowing a homogeneous coating. The incorporation of GO does not affect the textile structure nor its air permeability, while it increases its water contact angle, potentially preventing droplet trespassing. 

Read the full story Posted: May 06,2024

Tachmed partners with St George’s, University of London, to advance graphene-based health diagnostic platform

Tachmed, a UK-based developer of at-home digital healthcare solutions, has teamed up with experts in infection control at St George’s, University of London, to help accelerate the development of a new diagnostic platform for a range of health conditions, using graphene biosensor technology. 

During the four-month collaboration, funded by an Innovate UK Accelerated Knowledge Transfer grant, Dr. Henry Staines, senior lecturer in global health at the Institute for Infection & Immunity at St George’s, will provide critical knowledge exchange. This is expected to boost development of the technology by optimizing Tachmed’s biosensor, which is required to confirm if a pathogen is present or not within a patient sample.

Read the full story Posted: May 04,2024

Researchers use graphene oxide to develop devices that could advance future cellular therapy for multiple sclerosis patients

A team from the National Hospital for Paraplegics (SESCAM), in collaboration with the Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), has shown how new cell culture devices based on graphene oxide maintain the anti-inflammatory function of myeloid suppressor cells (MDSCs) once isolated from the donor's body. This function could be crucial for advancing cellular therapy beneficial to people with multiple sclerosis. 

"To exert their inflammation-controlling function in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, myeloid suppressor cells must maintain a very immature state. However, when extracted from the bone marrow and cultured in the laboratory, they begin to mature, losing their immunosuppressive activity, rendering them unsuitable for potential cellular therapy for patients with this type of neurodegenerative disease," explains Diego Clemente, a researcher at the National Hospital for Paraplegics and one of the lead authors of the study.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 10,2024

Graphene Trace secures £300k to tackle pressure ulcers

Graphene Trace, a UK-based startup that aims to use sensors to eradicate the problem of pressure ulcers, has been awarded a £300,000 grant by Innovate UK.

The startup believes its proprietary sensor technology for wheelchair users and hospital inpatients could reduce pressure ulcer onset by up to 95%. CEO Scott Dean said the grant will fund the creation of a prototype for its pressure ulcer prevention technology and bring it a step closer to going to market.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 05,2024

Researchers create graphene-integrated bioelectronic mesh for tracking multimodal excitation-contraction dynamics in cardiac microtissues

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have successfully built a tissue-like bioelectronic mesh system integrated with an array of graphene sensors that can simultaneously measure both the electrical signal and the physical movement of cells in lab-grown human cardiac tissue.

A bioelectronic mesh, studded with graphene sensors (red), can measure the electrical signal and movement of cardiac tissue (purple and green) at the same time. Image credit: UMass Amherst
 

The tissue-like mesh can grow along with the cardiac cells, allowing researchers to observe how the heart’s mechanical and electrical functions change during the developmental process. The new device can be extremely useful for those studying cardiac disease as well as those studying the potentially toxic side-effects of many common drug therapies.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 22,2024

Archer Materials miniaturizes biochip gFET chip design

Archer Materials has designed a miniaturized version of its Biochip graphene field effect transistor ("gFET") chip for fabrication at a commercial foundry.

The Archer Biochip contains a sensing region of which the gFET is the core component. Each gFET chip contains multiple gFETs, each of which is a transistor, which acts as a sensor. Archer has miniaturized the total chip size by redesigning the layout of the circuits creating these gFET transistors. The new miniaturized design has been sent to a foundry partner for a whole-wafer fabrication of reduced size gFET chips, which Archer intends to integrate with other parts of the Biochip technology.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 15,2024