Myeloperoxidase – an enzyme naturally found in our lungs – can biodegrade pristine graphene, according to the latest discovery of Graphene Flagship partners in CNRS, University of Strasbourg (France), Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). Among other projects, the Graphene Flagship designs flexible biomedical electronic devices that will interface with the human body. Such applications require graphene to be biodegradable, so it can be expelled from the body.
To test how graphene behaves within the body, researchers analyzed how it was broken down with the addition of a common human enzyme – myeloperoxidase or MPO. If a foreign body or bacteria is detected, neutrophils surround it and secrete MPO, thereby destroying the threat. Previous work by Graphene Flagship partners found that MPO could successfully biodegrade graphene oxide.
However, the structure of non-functionalized graphene was thought to be more resistant to degradation. To test this, the team looked at the effects of MPO ex vivo on two graphene forms; single- and few-layer.
Alberto Bianco, researcher at Graphene Flagship Partner CNRS, explains: “We used two forms of graphene, single- and few-layer, prepared by two different methods in water. They were then taken and put in contact with myeloperoxidase in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This peroxidase was able to degrade and oxidize them. This was really unexpected, because we thought that non-functionalized graphene was more resistant than graphene oxide.”
Rajendra Kurapati, first author on the study and researcher at Graphene Flagship Partner CNRS, remarks how “the results emphasize that highly dispersible graphene could be degraded in the body by the action of neutrophils. This would open the new avenue for developing graphene-based materials.”
Image Credit: Graphene Flagship
News This Week
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for fast-produced and adaptable vaccines that could be equally distributed around the world. Developing an efficient mRNA vaccine that is effective, thermostable, and has fewer side effects strongly [...]
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have found their applications in various technologies and consumer products. Manipulating chemicals at the nanoscale range introduces unique characteristics to these materials and makes them desirable for technological applications. With the [...]
Smart nanoparticle shows that intermittent fasting may protect the heart from damage during chemotherapy
Although chemotherapy can be a lifesaving treatment for patients with cancer, some of these medications can damage the heart. A team led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently developed a nanoparticle probe [...]
When the autumn booster programme begins next month, many people are likely to receive Moderna’s new bivalent vaccine, designed to protect against the original Covid strain and the more transmissible Omicron variant. As Covid continues [...]
Scientists of the department of Advanced Organ Bioengineering and Therapeutics (TechMed Centre) recently published a novel cancer immune therapy in the scientific journal Nature Communications ("Cancer immune therapy using engineered ‛tail-flipping’ nanoliposomes targeting alternatively activated macrophages"). [...]
Scientists from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) have developed a contact lens that can capture and detect exosomes, nanometer-sized vesicles found in bodily secretions which have the potential for being diagnostic cancer [...]
Among the total number of deaths caused by different types of cancer, esophageal cancer is the sixth most significant. Several conventional treatments, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery have multiple side effects, including off-target [...]
Cell membrane-coated nanoparticles, applied in targeted drug delivery strategies, combine the intrinsic advantages of synthetic nanoparticles and cell membranes. Although stem cell-based delivery systems were highlighted for their targeting capability in tumor therapy, inappropriate [...]
When babies in the African countries of Guinea Bissau and Uganda were given the tuberculosis vaccine, something remarkable happened. Instead of the vaccine only protecting against the target bacteria – Myocbacterium tuberculosis – the tuberculosis vaccine offered broad protection against a [...]
Thousands of years ago, across the Eastern Mediterranean, multiple Bronze Age civilizations took a distinct turn for the worse at around the same time. The Old Kingdom of Egypt and the Akkadian Empire both collapsed, and there was [...]
IN OCTOBER 2014, virologist Edward Holmes took a tour of the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, a once relatively overlooked city of about 11 million people in the central Chinese province of Hubei. The market would [...]
Self-healable ionic sensing materials with fatigue resistance are imperative in robotics and soft electronics for extended service life. The existing artificial ionic skins with self-healing capacity were prepared by network reconfiguration, constituting low-energy amorphous [...]
As demand for solar energy rises around the world, scientists are working to improve the performance of solar devices—important if the technology is to compete with traditional fuels. But researchers face theoretical limits on [...]
When shrimp shell nanoparticles were mixed into cement paste, the material became substantially stronger — researchers propose an innovation that could lead to less seafood waste and fewer carbon dioxide emissions from concrete production. [...]
A black-and-white video shared on social media showed a microscopic corkscrew-shaped helix as it appeared to consume a sperm, transport it, and ultimately lead the little swimmer into the wall of an [...]
Polymers containing quantum dots (QDs) are considered crucial components of next-generation consumer items, but ambiguity remains regarding how these compounds may negatively affect public health and the environment. A pre-proof paper from the Journal of Hazardous [...]