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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The properties of graphene improve nanobiosensors for biomedical, environmental and security applications

Casa Convalescencia in Barcelona hosted the ICREA Workshop on Graphene Nanobiosensors on May 25th-26th, where international experts of the state-of-the-art in graphene nanobiosensors applications will meet. The integration of graphene in biosensor systems will lead to high sensitive, more selective and cost-effective devices. Prof Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, was among the participants of the meeting and will offer an ICN2 seminar in the UAB Campus on Wednesday May the 27th.

The ICN2 reunited 100 experts to discuss about the state-of-the-art in graphene research and its applications in nanobiosensors, during a meeting funded by the Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA). The Organization Committee was led by ICREA Prof Arben Merkoci and ICREA Prof Stephan Roche, both Group Leaders at the ICN2. The ICREA Workshop on Graphene Nanobiosensors, which took place on May 25th-26th at Casa Convalescencia of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), was sponsored by Sensia – Graphenea and WITec, as Platinum Sponsors, and Nikon Metrology, as Gold Sponsor.

High level applications and speakers

The integration of graphene in biosensor systems will lead to a high sensitive, selective and cost-effective analysis and monitoring in fields such as biomedicine, environment and security. Consequently, the main topics discussed in the meeting were related to graphene production technologies, modification and characterization of this material, optical and electrical detection platforms and their applications in different areas. Most of the researches were focused on industrial applications.

Due to the mechanical properties of graphene, as well as to its flexibility and its ability to detect electric signals from biologic cells, this material could help to develop a new generation of biomedical prosthetics which could interact with the nervous system. In the nanobiomedicine field, the chemical and structural versatility could be used in innovative therapies for drug delivery.

Prof José Antonio Garrido explained in the press conference the way graphene allows to design sensors able to interact with live tissue, such as the neuronal one (1). The easiness of this material to be integrated in a flexible electronic platform, as well as its ability to transmit and record electric signals, make graphene a more suitable candidate than silicon for those kind of bionic applications, such as central and periphery nervous system implants. Prof Garrido works in nanobiosensor biomedical applications at the Walter Schottky Institut - Technische Universität München (Germany) and, in a few months, he will join the ICN2 as ICREA Research Professor. Here he will work in the development of a new generation of flexible electronics based on graphene and other bidimensional material for biomedical applications.

Prof Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 together with Prof Andre Geim for their ‘ground breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene’ and isolating the material at room temperature, attended the meeting. He also offered a seminar on Wednesday May the 27th at the UAB Science Faculty Conference Hall.

Graphene in Catalonia

This Workshop consolidates the ICN2 as one of the main local actors in the industrial applications of graphene. This centre was one of the 9 initial promoters and co-leads the work packages about spintronic and biomedical technologies of the Graphene Flagship, a European macro project with the target on bringing graphene research from the laboratories to the society. Catalonia has an important role in the research in this field thanks to a great number of research centres and a large industrial network working in it. Moreover, other initiatives such as the Programa RIS3 about Graphene or the Barcelona Graphene Accelerator, recently presented by Ajuntament de Barcelona and ICFO, also position Catalonia at the top places of the ranking in this competition.

(1) Hess, LH; Seifert, M; Garrido, JA. Graphene Transistors for Bioelectronics. Proceedings of the IEEE, 2013; 101(7):1780-1792.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=6518189