- 2D Crystals
Researchers from Rice University, led by the renowned Prof. James M. Tour, are attempting to repair spinal cord injuries with the help of TexasPEG, a water soluble graphene nanoribbon dispersion. In rodents, the method has been able to restore a completely paralyzed rat to a motility score of 19 out of 21, where 21 is a perfect score. If successful in humans as well, it may be applicable to new injuries, and potentially old injuries up to 30 years in the past - restoring function and sensation in both paraplegics and quadriplegics.
The team's novel approach acts as a directional scaffold for the neurons to grow along. It uses highly conductive graphene nanoribbons (GNR), which are long and thin. These graphene nanoribbons have been chemically modified to be water soluble (PEG-GNR), so they can disperse well between the existing neurons. Neurons then attach to these GNRs, and grow axons and dendrites along them until they re-connect with another neuron. These PEG-GNR are dissolved in PEG600 to form a solution that is topically administered to cuts in the spinal cord. This solution has been named TexasPEG by researchers in the field.
Researchers at Delft University have shown that placing certain types of bacteria on flat sheets of graphene oxide can turn it into a reduced version of the compound (rGO) by pulling oxygen atoms off the material as they metabolize. This turns the popular process of GO reduction, normally done with chemicals or high heat, into a much cheaper, more environmentally friendly process.
While the traditional method of reducing graphene with heat or chemicals is still more effective, the bacterial method could be very useful in the production of precise, small-scale graphene structures – such as those produced with a 3D printer. In this work, the researchers document how they modified a $300 CoLiDo 3D printer by replacing the extruder with a pipet tip and tubing system. “This alteration allows the liquid biological ink (‘bioink’) to be transported under ambient temperatures that are amenable to microbes, rather than the elevated temperatures that are applied to melt plastic filament,” the team explains.
Researchers from The University of Manchester have conducted a study that presents a review of the three steps of manufacturing graphene/epoxy nano-composites. The possible pre-treatments of nanoparticles before dispersion are introduced, and their influence on the final nanocomposite properties discussed.
SEM images of fracture surface of aligned GNP based epoxy composite
The study stresses interesting results, among which are improvements in various characteristics via the use of GNPs. For instance, an improvement of the thermal diffusivity of 220% was seen when compared to a non-oriented GNP epoxy sample. The work demonstrates how the addition of functionalized graphene platelets to an epoxy resin will allow it to act as electrical and thermal conductor rather than as insulator. The mechanical properties of functionalized GNP/epoxy composites show improvement of the interfacial bond.
Thermal conductivity in graphene is a thriving area of research, thanks to graphene's extraordinary heat conductivity properties and its potential for use in thermal management applications.
Don't miss Graphene-info's new article, that discusses this fascinating topic of heat conductivity in graphene, its potential for heat management applications and more!
UK-based Haydale announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 31 December 2016, or H1 FY2016. Total income was £1.5 million (up 90% from H1 2015) and the loss was £2.4 million (up from £1.9 million in H1 2015).
Haydale also provided some interesting update. The company signed a joint development agreement with Hunsman in Novermber 2016, and Haydale now says that Huntsman announced strong initial test results from Haydale's graphene enhanced Araldite resins in thermal management. Haydale's Thailand subsidiary also announced two new small contacts - one from the Thai Ministry of Energy for a printed hybrid functionalized graphene electrode in a supercapacitor and another from IRPC, a leading Thai petrochemical chemical processor.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow have used graphene to develop a robotic hand with solar-powered skin, which may open the door to the development of prosthetic limbs or robots with a sense of touch.
The team created the skin with the help of a single atomic layer of graphene, in a method that includes integrating power-generating photovoltaic cells into the electronic skin. The scientists say that “Whatever light is available, 98 percent is going and hitting the solar cell”, explaining that a solar panel is located just under the surface of the clear graphene skin. “it is generating power that can be used to get the sensitivity, the tactile feeling”.
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