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Graphene for use in implants

Graphene oxide layers welded together in a block: lighter than titanium

Rice University Graphene oxide layers welded together in a block: lighter than titaniumRice University

Strong mechanical strength and high porosity in tandem with stiffness and biocompatibility are the features of a new graphene oxide design that may potentially be utilized in bone implants. Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms organized in a hexagonal lattice. 3D graphene, which is produced when layers of graphene are bonded by plasma welding, is lighter than titanium, a material used in prostheses. “The idea was to create 3D graphene using 2D pieces,” says Douglas Galvão, professor at the University of Campinas (Unicamp). He and post-doctoral fellows Pedro Autreto, of the Federal University of the ABC (UFABC), and Cristiano Woellner, of Unicamp, took part in developing this configuration of graphene oxide, along with researchers from Rice University and the University of Texas, in the United States, and the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), in India. “The material now resembles porous cork,” explains Galvão. “Its high porosity is important because nanoscale roughness enhances integration with body cells.” The work of the Brazilian team was funded by the Center for Computational Engineering and Sciences (CCES), one of FAPESP’s Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDC).