Graphene has proved itself to be a key material in technological research, but its recent revolutionary elemental role medicine and neurosurgery; graphene has been expected to lead this century’s revolution. So important and crucial was the discovery of graphene to the modern technological and medical innovations that the two researchers who discovered graphene received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. So what is actually graphene? In the simplest words, graphene is a form of carbon; with the atoms arranged in a honey-comb structure. It has the most wonderful properties that have scientists’ attention gripped. It is many times stronger than steel, it’s an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and is nearly transparent.
But the question that lies here: Through brain supplements, embedding graphene nanobots into our brain is it actually possible to alter the speed of the electrical activity of the brain? To what extent can it alter our perception of time our physical response time? Graphenes has proven its importance in the medicine and bio-applications as a brain supplement widely.
Since the discovery of graphene, researchers have explored and experimented with its varied uses. Many research conducted across the globe, revolved around the graphene developed artificial implants. The adaptability of graphene as material as a brain supplement and its strength and stability, permits its use in the development of neural tissue implants. Graphene use in making electrodes that can be implanted in brain can have great result in restoring sensory functions for an amputee or paralyzed person or for certain individuals that have motor sensory disorders like the patients of Parkinson’s disease.
It has been widely demonstrated, the entire possibility to interface graphene, with neurons or nerve cells whilst keeping up the vitality of the cells when used as a brain supplement. This has enabled the development of graphene based electrodes that are implanted in the brain through surgery, with a promise to restore the sensory functionality among disabled patients.
Many initial researches began as an experiment in which medically treated graphene was interacted with neurons. This process proved to be very slow. The possibility to have graphene interfaced directly with the brain was explored followed by the testing of the ability of neurons generate electrical signals that function brain activities, and found that the neurons retained their neuronal signaling properties unaltered.
Our understanding of the brain has achieved a higher degree through which interfacing directly between the brain and the external world we are now able to successfully harness and control some many of its diversified and important functions. For example, by keeping a good track and measure of a brain’s electrical impulses, sensory functions can be either fully or partially recovered. This has been wisely use to manipulate robotic arms for amputee patients or many of basic processes for paralyzed patients that ranges from speech to movement of objects around them. Alternatively, by interfering with these electrical impulses, motor disorders (such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s) can start to be controlled.
Scientists have worked on it to make it a stunning possibility. But how? By developing electrodes that can be placed deep within the brain that can effectively connect directly to neurons and transmit their electrical signals away from the body, allowing their meaning to be decoded.
Graphene has been shown to be a promising material to solve these problems, because of its excellent conductivity, flexibility, biocompatibility and stability within the body.
Based on experiments conducted in rat brain cell cultures, the researchers found that untreated graphene electrodes interfaced well with neurons. By studying the neurons with electron microscopy and immunofluorescence the researchers found that they remained healthy, transmitting normal electric impulses and, importantly, none of the adverse reactions which lead to the damaging scar tissue were seen.
Some researchers believe that this can be heads a the first step towards utilizing pristine graphene-based materials as an electrode for a neuro-interface. The future can see the researchers investigating on how different forms of graphene, from multiple layers to monolayers, are able to affect neurons, and whether tuning the material properties of graphene might alter the synapses and neuronal excitability in new and unique ways.
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