Graphene in Biomedicine: Opportunities and Challenges

Liangzhu Feng; Zhuang Liu

Disclosures

Nanomedicine. 2011;6(2):317-324. 

In This Article

Conclusion & Future Perspective

Biomedical applications of graphene are currently being intensively explored by many research groups around the world, producing a lot of promising although mostly preliminary results. For applications towards cancer therapies, graphene-based drug delivery may be combined with other novel therapies, such as photothermal therapy and potentially gene therapy, for further improved therapeutic efficacy.[8] However the major obstacle in this direction is the nonbiodegradable nature of graphene and its potential long-term toxicity concern, even for PEGylated nano-graphene. In addition, how exactly the sizes, structures and surface coatings of nano-graphene affect its in vivo behaviors, including tumor-targeting efficiency, reticuloendothelial system uptake levels and potential excretion, remains unclear and requires further investigations. Regarding graphene-based biosensing, a massive number of publications have shown many exciting results in the past 2 years.[38,42] However, an emergent need in this area is to fabricate, test and really confirm reliable, reproducible and low-cost sensors with high detection sensitivity and specificity. Despite the factor that there are still many unresolved issues and challenges in graphene-based nanomedicine, the unique physical and chemical properties, as well as interesting shapes and sizes of graphene, are attractive for various novel applications in biological sensing, cancer therapies and potentially biomedical imaging.

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