Riddhi S. Mehta Kevin Enemuo Sydney Myers


Introduction: Spinal cord injury is a prominent neurological complication and is characterized by motor, sensory and autonomic dysfunction. It can cause paralysis depending on the area that is affected within the spinal cord. There have been many attempts to mitigate this condition and regeneration of neurons is one of the leading cures. Graphene is a carbon compound that is made from graphite. This unique one-atom layer is a versatile substance with potential uses in electronics due to its flexibility, conductance properties, and transparency. In the past, the creation of graphene was very expensive but now with the new technology of flash graphene, a method where carbon compounds are zapped into graphene flakes through flash heating, graphene is an accessible material for scaffolds to renew neurogenesis within spinal cord injury patients. 

Methods: A literature search was conducted using predetermined inclusion criteria and resulted in multiple primary research papers that presented research on graphene as a potential scaffolding agent for spinal cord injury.

Results: Graphene based interfaces used within spinal cord injury have shown an increase in cell viability and neuron regeneration. These graphene interfaces do not create a disturbance in the electrical conductances that occur within the neuronal network. Graphene woven technology can also detect subtle muscle, which allows for quantifiable regeneration data.

Discussion: With the creation of graphene, the carbon becomes fixed in a solid state and can be used as a conductor within electronics. Graphene usage within the body is not considered toxic as long as it is used within measured concentrations. This technology can be used to significantly impact how patients with spinal cord injury recover, potentially regaining use of their previously paralyzed limbs through neuron regeneration on graphene interfaces such as scaffolds or nanoplatelets. 

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