A collaboration of biologists, engineers, and material scientists at Brown University has found that jagged edges of graphene can easily pierce cell membranes, allowing graphene to enter the cell and disrupt normal function. Understanding the mechanical forces of nanotoxicity should help engineers design safer materials at the nanoscale.
The latest research published by the RSC points to the potential for graphene to be used in wound care. Detailing the mechanism by which graphene slices through the membranes of bacteria and absorbs their phospholipids, the research throws extra light on a potential use that has been often cited. Graphene band-aids may well become a means of fighting infection, showing graphene to be a versatile material with multiple applications.
Electronic components built from single molecules using chemical synthesis could pave the way for smaller, faster and more green and sustainable electronic devices. Now for the first time, a transistor made from just one molecular monolayer has been made to work where it really counts; on a computer chip.
There is perhaps no greater humanitarian potential in graphene than its ability to filter water. What, for instance, could be more compelling than the prospect of a graphene drinking straw that removes the impurities in water and produces crystal clear refreshment in the remotest of locations? Surely such a possibility shows us, in as stark and as matter a fact a way as possible, why every pound of the British government’s recent pledge of support for the industry is worthy of applause. Yet, as you may have come to expect, the story of graphene’s world changing potential does not end there.