Travelling through the body is possible with graphene

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Scientists have succeeded to introduce a layer of graphene above a stable fatty lipid monolayer for the very first time. Encompassed by a protective layer of lipids graphene could enter into the body and perform as a versatile sensor. These results are the very first step towards creating a shell.For the very first time, scientists have gained success to introduce a graphene layer on top of a stable fatty lipid monolayer. Encompassed by a protective layer of lipids graphene could enter into the body and perform like a versatile sensor. The results are the primary step towards a shell. In contrast to conventional studies, the scientists observed a stable structure when introducing graphene on a singular layer of lipids.

A patent has been provided for such findings. The PH.D candidate Lia Lima and co-associates made this finding under the guidance of chemist Gregory Schneider. Graphene is a surface substance that contains a singular layer of carbon atoms. It is highly sleek, robust and flexible. In addition, graphene is most useful in the technological world for its efficient conduction of electricity.

The usage of graphene varies extensively. “Graphene is specifically sensitive and can retort to its environment in the human body,” says Schneider. Hence, future applications for the body are, for instance, systems and biosensors that allocate the correct spot for functioning diagnosis.

To make graphene ideal for such applications, hard inorganic substances are often utilized as a support. But, these hard substances are not suitable for the usage of graphene in the body. For such reason, researchers are searching for organic, soft molecules to link with graphene and in this study it is the lipids.

Lipids are fats that can be identified in the protective layer of a cell known as the cell membrane. Such membrane comprises a double layer of lipids. When graphene could be substituted between the two layers, it could move through the body liberally. “A technique that is prepared a single layer of lipids in the lab and transmitted graphene on top, as a primary step towards the mimicking of the cell membrane,” says Schneider.

In their study the researchers identified that a layer if lipids offers reliable support to graphene. The scientists utilized infrared measurements to confirm the stability of the lipid layer. They also identified that the lipids enhance the electric conduction of graphene. Such effect of lipids is promising for meeting future applications. Enhancements of electronic conduction make it feasible to estimate the electronic signals of graphene in the body. Such signals inform something about the environmental usage of graphene, such as the acidity of presence of specific proteins.

Ultimately, graphene could move through the body when it gets stabilized by the lipids. “However, we still have an exceedingly long way to go,” confirms Schneider. “Now our next step is to introduce a layer of lipid on both the sides of graphene, such as a sandwich so that it could deliver adequate results, which we require.”