As the demand for healthcare services continues to increase, so does the demand for novel healthcare solutions. These solutions should be more effective, cost less, prevent disease as well as cure it, and should be equally effective throughout the world. Graphene is paving the way for novel diagnosis and treatments, thanks to its unique properties, such as high surface area, electron mobility and functionalisation potential, all favourable for biomedical technologies.
For instance, the surface area of graphene makes an excellent platform for drug delivery and the conductivity makes for effective biosensors. The ability of graphene to be made into scaffolds whilst maintaining the inherent conductivity can be put to use in tissue engineering. New research has shown that graphene can be incorporated with a polymer to make very sensitive electromechanical sensors and that it can be used to make better deep brain implants.
The Graphene Flagship was launched by the European Union in 2013 as part of its largest research initiative ever. With a budget of €1 billion it represents a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative on an unprecedented scale. The overall goal of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society, facilitating economic growth and creating new jobs, in the space of ten years. Through a combined academic-industrial consortium consisting of more than 150 partners in over 20 European countries, the research effort covers the entire value chain, from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene.