DARPA helps develop graphene-based 4-atoms thick neural electrical and optical sensors

Researchers from University of Wisconsin (with support from DARPA) developed new 4-atom thick graphene-based sensors that are so thin to be virtually transparent - which allows the sensors to perform both electrical and optical brain measurements at the same time.

The graphene-based contacts are used to measure and also stimulate neural tissue. These kinds of sensors could provide new insights into relationships between brain structure and function, and how these evolve by injury or disease.

Will graphene enable biomimetic soft robots?

Researchers from China's Xi'an Jiaotong University suggest a new bio-inspired soft robot platform made from graphene composites. The graphene robot is driven by near-infrared (nIR) light as graphene has excellent photothermal conversion efficiency in the nIR light band.

The team suggests building a microfish made from graphene and polymers. The microfish is controlled by nIR light. This is bilayer (pure-PDMS and GNP-PDMS) platform that is easily produced by scraping coating and spin coating processing. The bilayer platform is a soft photoresponsive material that can work in both air and water.

Flexible transparent graphene electrodes may enable electronic tattoos

Researchesr from Korea's Ulsan, KAIST and ETRI institutes developed a process that produces flexible transparent graphene electrodes that can be attached to the skin (or any kind of delicate object). This could enable applications such as electronic tattoo-like stickers or bio-signal sensors.

A graphene metal fiber composite ise used, which lowers the resistance of the transparent electrode to approximately 1/20th of existing ones. This enables the electrodes to be used in flexible displays or sensors. The new process is similar to a widely-used semiconductor process which means that this can be scaled commercially.

Graphene quantum dots enables a multi functional bio-sensor

Researchers from from Zhejiang Normal University in China developed a biocompatible bio-sensor that can simultaneous detection multiple biomarkers, such as DNA and proteins. Those sensors are made from carbon materials - mainly graphene-oxide (GO) and graphene quantum dots (GQDs).

The researchers explain hat GQDs rae promising environmentally friendly and biocompatible nanomaterials that can be used to design new fluorescence detection platforms in vitro and in vivo. The researchers use the specifically designed fluorescence on-off-on process that takes advantage of the intense and dual-color fluorescence of the GQDs, in addition to the efficient quenching effect of GO. The high emission efficiency of GQDs guarantees the high sensitivity of the constructed biosensors, while the good biocompatibility is promising for use of biosensors in vivo.

Graphene mixed with a plant creates a bio-inert superparamagnetic material

Researchers from India developed a new superparamagnetic hybrid material made from graphene and the amaranthus dubius plant. This plant is used for food (it's high on protein and contains several vitamins and minerals). Superparamagnetic materials can be used to make very sensitive and accurate sensors.

This new material is biologically inert (as both graphene and the plant are inert) and so this may be useful for applications in biology (such as bio-sensors).