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I’ve been seeing the word graphene show up again and again as a wonder material for medical devices.
I found http://bit.ly/12-graphene-uses online and it happened to be written by my friends at StarFish Medical in Vancouver, Canada.
For today’s discussion, can a “graphene expert” weigh in on why our colleagues should be taking a serious look at this biomaterial?
For those among you who are starting to use graphene, would you share your discoveries and successes?
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Graphene is a new type of material, and matching your quality to your application is key. Much harder is understanding how to integrate graphene into existing fabrication techniques. Making a graphene based system outside of an academic style artisanal workshop was hard. Can we get this through ISO 13485 and the FDA? That’s our current challenge.
So, why graphene? It’s a great electronic material for biointegration. You can make a very sensitive, label free assay, without any optics. We (nanotechnologists) have been promising that for 20 years now, but I think this is the first time we can actually mass produce the entire system.
James M. DePuydt
At Graphensic we are currently developing the principle of using our material as a transducer in an electrochemical-based biosensor. The challenges we face are just as James Mulling above describe mainly related to the art of handling a nanomaterial. The material we work with is graphene on silicon carbide and we consider this to be appropriate for the application primarily because the material is inert and therefore resistant to for example liquids. Also the material is produced on substrates that are suitable to process in a production line for semiconductor devices. The material is extremely sensitive to changes in its environment and if you for example manage to get it selective for a molecule you can easily with an electric readout detect very low concentrations. We have experience in detecting gas molecules down to ppb concentrations using a simple resistance measurement. In that case we had prepared the graphene for benzene detection using sputtered metal oxide nano particles.
There are several other applications for graphene within medical devices and a recommendation for the interested would be to first select the desired application and then choosing the appropriate material for it.
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