Wrocław/ Researchers are working on medical applications of graphene

Photo: Tomasz Zajda - Fotolia /
Photo: Tomasz Zajda - Fotolia /

Researchers from Wroclaw Medical University and the Polish Academy of Sciences conduct research into the use of graphene coating on vascular stents. This solution may result in medical devices that are better tolerated by the body.

The project "Graphene coating on endovascular stents as an endotelialisation enhancement and restenosis reduction layer" is carried out by scientists from Wroclaw Medical University and the Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research PAS. A patent application has been filed, and a few days ago the solution won a prize at the International Fair of Inventions "Concours Lepine" in Paris.

Dariusz Biały from Wroclaw Medical University told PAP that the first studies conducted in this project indicated that graphene coated medical devices implanted into the body could be better tolerated biologically. "This means that a patient with implanted, for example, artificial heart valve coated with graphene would recover better after the surgery. As a result, the amount of drugs taken in connection with the surgery could be reduced" - said Dr. Biały.

Scientists emphasize that the first studies on the use of graphene coating on vascular stents are promising. "We started from the endothelium, because it is important for us in connection with implantation of stents into the coronary arteries, it is a very sensitive material. We coated steel plates with graphene and observed effects. They are promising" - said Dr. Biały.

According to scientists, graphene could be used, among others, in medical products such as artificial heart valves, catheters or stimulating electrodes.

Scientists are also investigating bacteriostatic properties of graphene. "Bacteriostatic properties of graphene could be used in the design of operating theatres. There are many possibilities" - added Dr. Biały.

The team of researchers working on the application of graphene in medical products is headed by Dr. Dariusz Biały and Prof. Wiesław Stręk of the Trzebiatowski Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research PAS in Wroclaw. Scientists are planning to set up a company which will commercialise the results of their work. These could be pioneering results, because no one in the world offers graphene-coated medical devices.

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