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Comment Processing & Handling

Graphene surprise

By Paul Grad |

Researchers from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia; www.monash.edu.au) have discovered that graphene-oxide sheets can change their structure and become liquid droplets spontaneously. Because graphene droplets change their structure in response to an applied magnetic field, they could be used for controlled drug release, says lead researcher, Mainak Majumder. Usually special equipment, such as an atomizer, is needed to change graphene into a spherical form. The Monash University researchers simply placed the graphene sheets in a solution to process them for industrial use. They made the surprise discovery during routine tests that under certain pH conditions, while in solution, the graphene changes shape by itself. The observation was made using  a polarized light microscope at the Marine Biological Laboratory (near Cape Cod, Mass.). The researchers have been working with industry partner Strategic Energy Resources Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia) and Rudolf Oldenbourg from the Marine Biological Laboratory, to explore the possibility of commercializing their work. Majumder says drug-delivery systems often use magnetic particles, but the particles cannot always be used because they can be toxic under certain physiological conditions.…
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