Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Revolutionary 'metamaterial' has potential to reshape neurosurgery

28.04.2014

Graphene has possible uses in brain cancer treatment, neuroregeneration, functional neurosurgery, and more

The development of graphene—a highly advanced metamaterial with many unique and varied properties—may lead to exciting new applications in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases, according to a report in the May issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Tobias A. Mattei, MD, of Invision Health/Brain & Spine Center – Buffalo, New York and Azeem A. Rehman, BS, of The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria present a "primer" on the development of graphene-based metamaterials that may lead to new advances in several areas of neurosurgery. Mattei and Rehman write, "As a surgical specialty that heavily relies on technological innovations, it is expected that neurosurgery will significantly benefit from several graphene-based technological developments in the next decades."

Graphene Has 'Extremely Remarkable' Properties …

An artificially engineered "metamaterial"—with properties not typically found in nature—graphene is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms in a "honeycomb lattice" pattern. The developers of graphene were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010; massive resources are being invested in its further research and development.

Graphene has a number of "extremely remarkable" properties that make it unlike any other material. It combines the greatest mechanical strength ever measured in any material— natural or artificial—with very light weight and high elasticity. Graphene also has unique optical and photothermal properties which, among other things, allow it to release energy in the form of heat in response to light input.

In addition, graphene has very high electrical conductivity, as well as a high surface area allowing "efficient bioconjugation" with common biomolecules. A few years ago, graphene was one of the most expensive materials on Earth. However, as industrial production increases, it is dropping rapidly in price.

Graphene is being developed for use in a wide range of technologies, such as flexible liquid crystal displays and electronic devices, new types of integrated electric circuits, and lithium-ion microbatteries—to name just a few. It also has great promise for use in various types of biomedical devices, several of which are relevant to conditions treated by neurosurgeons.

…With Many Promising Applications in Neurosurgery

Mattei and Rehman discuss some of the frontline scientific research being done to explore the capabilities and potential uses of graphene. As development continues, graphene-based metamaterials could contribute to advances in several areas of neurosurgery, including:

  • Cancer Treatment. Graphene nanoparticles may play a role in tumor-targeted imaging, as well as possible new therapeutic approaches involving photothermal or alternating electrical field stimulation therapies.

     

  • Intensive Care Unit Monitoring. New electrochemical and optical biosensors may provide new approaches to neurologic monitoring in patients with stroke or traumatic brain injury.

     

  • Neuroregeneration. Graphene materials may be used in new strategies to promote regeneration of nervous system tissues—for example, graphene-coated scaffolds to stimulate growth of injured peripheral nerves.

     

  • Functional Neurosurgery. Improved electrophysiological monitoring systems may help in performing precisely targeted brain surgeries in patients with conditions such as epilepsy and movement disorders.

     

  • Spinal Surgery. High-resistance graphene-based hardware may represent the next generation in instrumentation for spinal surgery.

     

However, much work remains before any of these advances become reality. While graphene has been shown to be biocompatible, more basic research is needed to examine the long-term biological effects of graphene implants and to answer other important clinical questions. Mattei and Rehman conclude, "Increased awareness of the ongoing frontline research on graphene may enable the neurosurgical community to properly take advantage of the technological applications such a new metamaterial may offer to experimental and clinical neurosurgery in the near future."

###

About Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery, the Official Journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, is your most complete window to the contemporary field of neurosurgery. Members of the Congress and non-member subscribers receive 3,000 pages per year packed with the very latest science, technology, and medicine, not to mention full-text online access to the world's most complete, up-to-the-minute neurosurgery resource. For professionals aware of the rapid pace of developments in the field, Neurosurgery is nothing short of indispensable.

About Wolters Kluwer Health

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries and territories worldwide, Wolters Kluwer Health's customers include professionals, institutions and students in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include Health Language®, Lexicomp®, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Medicom®, Medknow, Pharmacy OneSource®, ProVation® Medical and UpToDate®.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2012 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.6 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Follow our official Twitter handle: @WKHealth.

Connie Hughes | Eurek Alert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Innovate coating extends the life of materials for industrial use
28.09.2016 | Investigación y Desarrollo

nachricht Lowering the Heat Makes New Materials Possible While Saving Energy
26.09.2016 | Penn State Materials Research Institute

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Swiss space research reaches for the sky

29.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Small- and mid-sized cities particularly vulnerable

29.09.2016 | Earth Sciences

Discovery of an Extragalactic Hot Molecular Core

29.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>