Soft graphene-based probe monitors brain and gut chemistry

Scientists from Michigan State University and Stanford University have invented the “NeuroString” — a graphene-based implantable probe that enables researchers to study the chemistry of brain and gut health.

Graphene implant monitors brain and gut chemistry imageThree flexible NeuroString sensors. Credit: Courtesy of Jinxing Li

“The mainstream way people are trying to understand the brain is to read and record electric signals,” said Jinxing Li, the paper’s first author and an assistant professor in MSU’s College of Engineering. “But chemical signals play just as significant a role in brain communication, and they are also directly related to diseases. My lab at MSU focuses on developing cutting-edge neuroprobes and microrobotics.”

Versarien launches graphene-based superparamagnetic material

Versarien has announced the launch of a new hybrid nanomaterial that has superparamagnetic properties, which can be used across a range of applications, like defense and healthcare. The new material combines graphene with both iron oxide and manganese oxide nanoparticles and its development was led by Versarien's 62% owned subsidiary, Gnanomat.

The superparamagnetic material combines graphene with both iron oxide and manganese oxide nanoparticles that provide the material with magnetic properties. In return, graphene provides electrical conductivity to these electrically insulating metal oxides. Magnetic nanocomposites can readily respond to external magnetic fields which allow them to be manipulated. Potential applications of the material include the treatment of wastewater whereby pollutants are adsorbed onto the graphene surface. The material could also lends be used in biomedical and biotechnology applications, or defense applications requiring the shielding of electromagnetic fields. Magnetic manipulation could allow the recovery and recycling of the graphene, something that could not be done with normal graphene compounds.

Graphene e-tattoo allows for continuous cuffless monitoring of blood pressure

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have developed a graphene-based electronic tattoo that can be worn on the wrist for hours and deliver continuous blood pressure measurements at an accuracy level exceeding nearly all available options on the market today. This could signify an alternative for the currently used cuff-based devices that constrict around the arm to give a reading, as well as improve accuracy levels.

Continuous cuffless monitoring of arterial blood pressure via graphene bioimpedance tattoos image

The wearable is based on electrical bioimpedance and leverages atomically thin, self-adhesive, lightweight and unobtrusive graphene electronic tattoos as human bioelectronic interfaces. The graphene electronic tattoos are used to monitor arterial BP for >300 min, a period tenfold longer than reported in previous studies.

Researchers develop graphene-enhanced strain-perception-strengthening enabled biomimetic soft skin

Researchers at the Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering (NIMTE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), led by Prof. CHEN Tao, have designed strain-perception-strengthening (SPS) enabled biomimetic soft skin, which realizes the dynamic transformation from tactile to pain perception.

The synthetic skin is said to be elastic, conductive, and adaptive. It is composed of elastomeric thin-film and assembled graphene nanosheets with an interlocked structural interface.

Researchers develop a graphene platform for extra sensitive detection of viral proteins

Scientists at Swansea University, Biovici Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory have developed a graphene-based method to detect viruses in very small volumes.

Researchers develop graphene platform of biosensors imageGraphene device chip attached to an electrical connector, with two 5 μL HCVcAg samples (one applied on each graphene resistor). Image credit: Swansea U

The work followed a successful Innovate UK project developing graphene for use in biosensors – devices that can detect tiny levels of disease markers.