Spain creates graphene brain microsensors

The researchers who have created these sensors hope that they serve to study the brain in detail as well as allowing the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and cerebral infarcts

In 2010 graphene made its formal appearance on the stage of science and medicine when Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov received the Nobel Prize in Physics after synthesizing this thin, transparent and flexible material of great potential and various applications.

A recent example is the development in Barcelona, ​​Spain, of graphene brain sensors for the detection and treatment of diseases such as epilepsy and the treatment of cerebral infarcts.

This is detailed in a recent publication in Nature Materials and refers to the implantation of these microsensors in the brain, with a considerable advantage over the electrodes used so far.

José Antonio Garrido, co-creator of the research, said: “The brain signal has high and low frequencies, and each one offers information that is relevant to different areas.” Very low frequency, below 0.1 Hz, could not be measured with the electrodes but we can read it with the graphene microtransistors “.

The tests were performed on a sample of 20 healthy rats in which epilepsy was introduced by the injection of one drop of potassium chloride. Subsequently they were implanted with a graphene sensor to track the brain signal and its speed.

The data that will be collected by the novel appliance will be transmitted to a mobile device to issue alerts when the sensor detects the imminent occurrence of an epileptic attack. The clinical trial with these sensors could start in two years.

The researchers defend the selection of graphene for this project: “For us there are three very clear reasons: Being a very invasive technology you must have a very biocompatible material that does not generate inflammation in the brain, and graphene has a type of link that makes it very unreactive. On the other hand, to monitor the brain you need a flexible material that adapts well to the surface of the cortex, which is rough, and finally, with graphene, which is a semimetal, we can have a configuration of transistor that allows us to measure the low frequencies”.


Source: El Mundo

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