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 Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete
08.12.2016 | Rice University

nachricht Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D
08.12.2016 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>