Graphene Flagship experts have united to tackle the effects of present and future pandemics with technologies based on graphene and related materials
The current COVID-19 pandemic brought to light an urgent need to devise new technologies to protect the human body from its immediate environment. Graphene and related materials are promising candidates for the design of a novel generation of surfaces to help deal with the daily challenges posed by COVID-19, as well as similar future diseases.
The Graphene Flagship Management Panel recognised that it is vital for the Graphene Flagship, as one of the largest European science and technology projects, to make use of all its collective and accumulated knowledge of graphene and related materials to fight the current pandemic – and those that may come in the future. To this end, it has assembled a targeted and multidisciplinary Working Group, comprising companies and researchers from across the consortium. The group's ultimate objective is to fully exploit the potential of graphene and related materials in order to contribute to the global front against this unprecedented societal challenge.
The Graphene Flagship Coronavirus Working Group aims to establish new connections between researchers, propose relevant topics for future funding calls, and initiate discussions with funders and stakeholders, with the ultimate ambition of making the best use of graphene and related materials (GRMs) in fields such as virology, biosensing and many others.
Assembled in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the group comprises researchers from across the Graphene Flagship.
- Alberto Bianco, Deputy Leader of Work Package "Health and Environment"
- Paolo Samorì, Deputy Leader of Work Package "Functional Foams and Coatings"
- Andrea Ferrari, Graphene Flagship Science and Technology Officer
- Mar García-Hernández, Leader of Work Package "Enabling Materials"
- Amaia Zurutuza, Scientific Director of Graphene Flagship Partner Company Graphenea and Deputy Leader of Work Package "Wafer-Scale System Integration"
- Cinzia Spinato, Graphene Flagship Business Developer at Graphene Flagship Partner ICN2
- Ana Helman, Science Officer at Graphene Flagship Partner European Science Foundation
Kim L Roberts, Ussher Assistant Professor of Virology at Graphene Flagship Partner Trinity College Dublin
Expert in Biochemical Sensing
- Arben Merkoçi, Graphene Flagship Partner ICN2
Expert in Materials/Virus Interactions
- Francesco Stellacci, Graphene Flagship Partner EPFL
Areas of Interest
The Working Group will have a 360-degree approach, covering fundamental to applied solutions. The group will investigate:
- The inhibition of the virus by graphene and related materials dispersed in solutions
- Whether graphene and related materials have the same capacity as antivirals as already demonstrated against bacteria
- How to modify graphene and related materials with antiviral agents
- How to design chemically tailored materials to either promote viruses’ adhesion and inhibit their biological activity once adsorbed, or repel viruses
- How to design coated surfaces better able to withstand repeated cleaning cycles
- How to formulate disinfectant solutions and detergents containing graphene and related materials to clean surfaces
- How to design disposable masks, aprons and wearable tissues, with higher impermeability to viruses
- How to develop personal protective equipment technologies able to act as a barrier between the environment and human body
- How to create smart tissue, embedding by design not only anti-viral characteristics, but also with other functions
- How to design new chemical, electrochemical and optical sensors with high specificity for early diagnostics, and for portable point-of-care devices
- The wider challenges posed by global pandemics, such as how graphene and related materials can improve remote working: for example, by improving telecoms and datacoms, or through the development of more efficient batteries for a new green society.
07 August 2020 11:29