FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING on all orders over £375
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping


    Blog Menu

    Early Cancer Detection using Graphene Oxide

    Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers within the UK and it’s the most common cancer in women universally. According to Cancer Research UK, in 2015 23% of breast cancer cases reported were deemed preventable.  Researchers found that the gene BRCA1, a breast cancer susceptibility gene, is responsible for 80% of breast and ovarian cancer families. There has also been some correlation between having this gene and your susceptibility to pancreatic and colon cancers. Finding this link has been vital in aiding disease prevention. The biotechnology industry is working towards producing efficient devices to be able to detect this gene in order to prevent and reduce the mortality risk.

    The use of graphene oxide in biosensors has been growing exponentially due to the highly useful specifications of GO.  Shahrokhian and Salimian successfully produced a graphene oxide coated carbon electrode for DNA probe immobilisation, which was found to be more efficient than current electrodes used for this purpose. The GO layer on the electrode allows for bonding, via an amide bond, to the DNA which makes it an ultrasensitive detector. 

    To ensure this method of DNA analysis is fast and simple, Shahrokhian and Salimian applied electrochemical reduction methods, which in turn produced rGO on the electrode surface.  As the graphene oxide has a larger accessible surface area, it accelerates the electron transfer process, enhancing the conductivity of the electrode.

    By adding graphene oxide to the coating on the electrode, researchers were able to produce a highly sensitive biosensor. The properties of GO make it ideal for this area of research and the flexibility of being able to tune the GO properties specific to the research purpose, make it highly applicable in biotechnology. 

    The range of graphene based materials in current research by academic groups around the world highlights the effect that they will one day have on day to day applications. If you have any enquiries about the applications of graphene oxide or how it can improve your existing applications, please get in touch and one of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help.

    Sensors and Actuators, B, 2018, 266, 160-169

    Graphene Oxide in Food Packaging

    Graphene Oxide in Food Packaging

    Packaging in the food industry is changing. As consumers become more aware of the detriments of single use plastics, there is pressure within the supply chain to eliminate these, whilst maintaining a high standard of quality.  It is essential that new packaging technologies do not compromise on protection; the current standards of freshness must be maintained by ensuring that packaging is waterproof and doesn’t break or promote deterioration of food. This is especially important during transport, which is often on a global scale and will inevitably result in some strain on the packaging. Many research departments are striving to not just match the level of protection provided by conventional packaging today, but to improve properties such as anti-microbial activity, UV blocking and breathability, in order to ensure that the new packaging is a desirable and cost effective alternative.

    Gelatin based biopolymers are being considered as a possible alternative to plastic, as gelatin is widely accessible, inexpensive and easy to process. However, the biopolymer is also susceptible to bacterial attack, breaks easily and is highly sensitive to moisture which decreases its suitability as a packaging material. The incorporation of graphene oxide into the polymer matrix has been shown to improve all these properties, as well as promoting thermal and light stability. GO is particularly suited to this use as, like gelatin, it is biodegradable (albeit with emzymes) and hence, environmentally benign. Gelatin alone would degrade too easily, but GO addition strengthens the material sufficiently that it is much more likely to withstand transport and handling. Furthermore, since GO interacts and bonds strongly, other additives can easily be included in the polymer composite to further enhance the material.

    A recent study shows that combining a gelatin polymer with GO nanosheets and mussel-inspired polydopamine (PDA) resulted in a vastly tougher material with significant advantages. Mussels have been found to be remarkably good at sticking to a wide variety of surfaces, including plenty that are adhesion resistant. This led to in-depth studies of the proteins they secrete and resulted in PDA use becoming increasingly common. Here, GO was considered an effective means of transporting PDA, and PGO was synthesised (PDA-GO).

    GO acted as an excellent cross-linking agent and enabled the integration of silver and cellulose into the structure, which previously required toxic chemicals and complex processes. These additives further enhanced anti-microbial and strengthening properties respectively. The large number of components essentially filled gaps within the biopolymer matrix, hence it’s improved impermeability against UV light and water. This is somewhat surprising, as GO is often hailed as a permeable material and is being widely applied to water filtration systems. However, in this instance, the hydrogen bonding from the GO reduced the availability of hydrophilic groups in the composite and therefore decreased water uptake.

    Compared to other processes towards forming gelatin biopolymers, GO nanosheets enabled a much simpler and more environmentally friendly route, which resulted in a biodegradable polymer that was effective against common bacteria including E. coli and S. aureus.

    This application is just one of many that utilise the unique properties of graphene and graphene oxide and further demonstrates the wide range of potential applications. If you have any enquiries about the applications of graphene oxide or how it can improve your existing applications, please get in touch and one of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help.

    Industrial Crops and Products, 2019, 132, pp.197-212.



    Co-administration of Graphene Oxide and Cisplatin

    Co-administration of Graphene Oxide and Cisplatin

    Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women. Annually, there are more deaths from lung cancer alone than from colon, prostate and breast cancer combined. Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic drug used to treat lung cancer cells by destroying rapidly dividing cells by damaging nuclear DNA.

    Research published in the American Chemical Society investigates the effect of co-administrating graphene oxide nanoplatelets with cisplatin for the treatment of human lung cancer A459 cells. The presence of oxygen containing functional groups on the surface of graphene oxide increase solubility, dispersibility and biocompatibility. These properties make graphene oxide suitable for use as drug carriers in drug delivery and in live cell imaging. The co-administration of graphene oxide with cisplatin showed a decrease in the percentage of viable cancer cells when compared to cisplatin alone. As the concentration of cisplatin was increased, the effect of graphene oxide co-administration on cell viability was greater. This research highlights the possibility of graphene oxide use extending into the pharmaceutical industry.

    This application is just one of many studied by academic groups to utilise the unique properties of graphene oxide. If you have any enquiries about the applications of graphene oxide or how it can improve your existing applications, please get in touch and one of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help.

    Langmuir, 2019, 35, 3176−3182

    Graphene Oxide in Wound Regeneration

    Graphene Oxide in Wound Regeneration

    Hemocompatibility describes the interaction between a foreign substance and blood. It is considered one of the most important issues in tissue engineering. A collaboration between Assuit University, Stockholm University and Kangwon National University demonstrated that hemolysis assays on graphene oxide showed no hemolytic effect (destruction of red blood cells). Sonication of graphene oxide suspension increases the zeta potential which increases the dispersion stability. Cell attachment and rapid division of cells is supported by the ultrasonicated graphene oxide because of its cytocompatibility. It also promotes formation of new bone.

    Research published in Materials Science and Engineering showed that ultrasonicated graphene oxide is biocompatible with human foetal osteoblast cells, human endothelial cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts. The study showed that cell proliferation measured by optical density was most efficient in the epithelial wound using 1% ultrasonicated graphene oxide when compared to a control. The wound showed the most improvement when compared on day 1 to day 3.

    Studying osteoblast growth and activity with ultrasonicated graphene oxide showed that it enhances the cell adhesion and proliferation. This is because graphene oxide acts as a scaffold for the regeneration of bone tissue.

    This research serves as another great example of how graphene oxide has the potential to enable a diverse range of innovations and applications. The graphene oxide supplied through GOgraphene is being used in both academic and industrial research in many sectors. If you are interested in using graphene oxide in your research, please let us know and a member of the team will be happy to help you.

    Materials Science & Engineering, C, 2019, 94, 484–492

    RSC Adv., 2015,5, 10782-10789 

    Graphene Oxide in Slow Release Fertilisers

    Graphene Oxide in Slow Release Fertilisers

    With the growth in the global population there is a greater requirement in the production of crops to meet this demand. In the development of crops, micronutrients (such as zinc and copper) in the form of fertilisers are required to optimise plant growth. Standard fertilisers are usually water-soluble salts containing sulfates which can be affected by leaching or run-off, particularly in high rainfall locations. As a result of the fast release, large volumes of these fertilisers are required to provide sufficient nutrients to the plants but results in higher costs due to the inefficiency as well as potential environmental issues.

    Research carried out by the University of Adelaide has demonstrated the use of graphene oxide as high capacity carriers of micronutrients for use in slow-release fertilisers. Graphene oxide has a very high surface area and large quantities of oxygen functional groups on the surface of the sheet. Electrostatic interactions from the oxygen functionalities allows metal nutrients to bind to the graphene oxide sheets, with the high surface area resulting in large loading quantities. The results of the study showed highly desirable release rates, with initial fast release followed by a slow, sustained rate. This mechanism of release is favourable, particularly in environments where seedlings require larger initial quantities of micronutrients followed by a slower uptake as they grow.


    This application is just one of many that utilise the unique properties of graphene and graphene oxide and further demonstrates the wide range of potential uses. If you have any enquiries about the applications of graphene oxide or how it can improve your existing applications, please get in touch and one of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help.


    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9, 43325−43335