Promethient receives funds to ramp up its graphene-enhanced seat warming application

Promethient, an early stage U.S-based company that developed graphene-enhanced seat warmer technology, has received a large (though undisclosed) equity investment from Faurecia Ventures, the investment arm of Nanterre, France-based Faurecia, the sixth-largest auto supplier in the world, with a big American presence.

The funding will allow Promethient to ramp up product development and marketing and also provides it with a very large early customer. The investment will also allow Promethient to sell to other auto suppliers and makers.

Graphene foam to potentially offer better treatment for joint diseases and eliminate the need for joint replacement

A new study out of Boise State University in the U.S may one day lead to new graphene-based treatments for osteoarthritis, potentially preventing the need for joint replacement.

The study investigates the compressive mechanical properties of graphene foam – soft tissue composites. Previous studies have shown graphene foam’s compatibility with chondrogenic cell lines for cartilage tissue engineering. This is reportedly the first study to focus on the viscoelastic behavior of the engineered tissue to test the functionality of the grown cartilage.

Team finds that an electric field applied to a tiny hole in a graphene membrane could compress water molecules

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed new theories regarding the compression of water under a high-gradient electric field. They found that a high electric field applied to a tiny hole in a graphene membrane would compress the water molecules travelling through the pore by 3%. The predicted water compression may eventually prove useful in high-precision filtering of biomolecules for biomedical research.

Compression of water under a high-gradient electric field image

The team commented: "This is an unexpected phenomenon, contrary to what we thought we knew about nanopore transport. It took three years to work out what it was the simulations were showing us. After exploring many potential solutions, the breakthrough came when we realized that we should not assume water is incompressible. Now that we understand what's happening in the computer simulations, we are able to reproduce this phenomenon in theoretical calculations."

UCLA team designs a novel type of graphene-based photodetector

Engineers from the UCLA have Used graphene to design a new type of photodetector that can work with more types of light than its current state-of-the-art counterparts. The device also has superior sensing and imaging capabilities.

UCLA's novel graphene-based photodetector image

photodetectors' versatility and usefulness depend largely on three factors: their operating speed, their sensitivity to lower levels of light, and how much of the spectrum they can sense. Typically, when engineers have improved a photodetector’s capabilities in any one of those areas, at least one of the two other capabilities has been diminished. The photodetector designed by the UCLA team has major improvements in all three areas – it operates across a broad range of light, processes images more quickly and is more sensitive to low levels of light than current technology.

Graphene forms electrically-charged crinkles when compressed

Researchers from Brown University have discovered yet another peculiar and potentially useful property of graphene, that could be useful in guiding nanoscale self-assembly or in analyzing DNA or other biomolecules.

Graphene forms electrically-charged crinkles when compressed image

Their new study demonstrates mathematically what happens to stacks of graphene sheets under slight lateral compression—a gentle squeeze from their sides. Rather than forming smooth, gently sloping warps and wrinkles across the surface, the researchers found that layered graphene forms sharp, saw-tooth ridges that turn apparently have interesting electrical properties.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009