Carnegie Mellon University’s Ge Yang, associate professor of biomedical engineering (BME) and computational biology, and Tzahi Cohen-Karni, assistant professor of BME and materials science and engineering, have determined that graphene is safe for neurons and non-neuronal cells and has long-term biocompatibility — making it an excellent material to use in devices that interface with the nervous system. In a separate study, Cohen-Karni also found it was possible to grow graphene “fuzz.” Graphene is nearly 200 times stronger than steel, flexible, nearly transparent and highly conductive. Since graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms connected in a hexagonal pattern, it is thin and lightweight, making it attractive for nanotechnology applications such as building nanodevices for biomedical applications. Following this new finding, the research team will begin to use graphene with different types of tissues to better understand cell physiology.”

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