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More answers to common questions about the uses of graphene (and related materials) in biomedicine and health

Meet layered materials

We rarely speak about graphene alone. That’s because, since the discovery of graphene, scientists have discovered different types of this material, with different applications. Imagine bread: it comes in different forms and shapes – loafs, pizza, crumbs, toast – but really, it’s always flour, water and yeast. Graphene, too, comes in layers, flakes and different oxidation forms, depending on the properties needed.

Claims that vaccines contain graphene oxide which supposedly leads to effects like magnetism and 5G, are fundamentally false, because graphene oxide is neither magnetic or effective in 5G or any other telecommunications application. This would be like making a sandwich using breadcrumbs! Graphene oxide is often used to make composites and inks for wearable electronics, solar cells and sensors.

Furthermore, the isolation of graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms, exfoliated from graphite – led to the discovery of other really thin “layered materials”. If graphene was the bread, the new layered materials became all the other ingredients. Combined with graphene, they yield mixtures known as heterostructures, which open a world of possibilities for memory devices, gas separation, water filtration and much more!

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Find more information about the different types of graphene, and discover other ingredients like layered materials and heterostructures.

Graphene and health

Using graphene – and other layered materials – in health and medical applications, one must study and understand any limitation they pose and any unwanted effect their usage may cause to our normal, bodily functions. This is general practice for any new type of nanomaterial developed towards medical use. The first stage in clinical translation is the need to demonstrate safety. The regulatory bodies overseeing such clinical translation processes, and the investigators developing the technologies should have one primary thought in mind: safety first!

To that end, the Graphene Flagship counts on several of its research groups with the expertise and experience to investigate their interactions of graphene and 2D materials with human cells, other living organisms and the environment.

Interestingly, the Graphene Flagship scientists have found evidence that both graphene and graphene oxide are biodegradable. Our body breaks them down successfully. But researchers continue to study what happens to the fragments, and whether they could pose any risks to human health and the environment.


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Learn about the work carried out by the Graphene Flagship on topics like Health and Safety.

Graphene and medicines

The different types of graphene and other 2D layered materials have become tremendously useful for new medical technologies. The unique properties of layered materials enable new possibilities in sensing, wound healing, neural interfaces and cutting-edge prosthetics, among many other applications.

Is this dangerous? No. Before releasing any new solution to the market, it needs to undergo rigorous safety tests, clinical trials and get the relevant approvals by regulatory agencies in the EU.

Is it promising? Very! In fact, Graphene Flagship spin-offs like INBRAIN Neuroelectronics and Grapheal have secured funding from prominent investors and pharmaceutical industries. These new companies will further develop their technologies into commercial products to improve our health.

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Download our special magazine on the applications of graphene for healthcare.

Graphene and COVID-19 vaccines

Over the past year, there have been claims that certain COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide or other graphene types. However, numerous independent fact-checking specialists have shown that there is no link between graphene and vaccines. No vaccine formulation approved by the European Medicines Agency for clinical or emergency use has included any type of graphene or 2D materials in its ingredient lists.

Check the fact-checking reports from: Reuters, Full Fact or AFP.