Today, we will present to you the advantages of graphene material modifications, particularly related to decorating graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) flakes with various nanoparticles. This is one of the research topics pursued by the Flake Graphene Group at Łukasiewicz – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics, using G-Flake® materials.
As you know, GO and RGO possess different properties primarily due to their chemical composition, especially the content of carbon and oxygen. On the surface of graphene oxide, there are numerous oxygen-based functional groups, such as hydroxyl, epoxy, ether, where other molecules can be anchored. The more reduced the material (more carbon, less oxygen, and related oxygen groups), the less effective the modification becomes. It’s worth noting that this modification is a relatively straightforward process with the possibility of controlling the concentration of additives.
Let’s consider what additional functionalities can be programmed into graphene materials and which nanoparticles can be used for this purpose. The scientific community is continuously engaged in a lively discussion regarding the biomedical applications of graphene materials. Both applications promoting tissue regeneration and cell proliferation are indicated, while potential toxic effects of graphene materials on tissues and cells are also suggested.
The topic is not yet sufficiently researched, especially in the context of long-term in vivo studies, but we can utilize surface modification of graphene materials to give them desirable characteristics. If GO will be equipped with platinum metallic molecules, they can be used as drug carriers in anticancer therapies. On the other hand, modification using hydroxyapatite nanoparticles can enhance the bioactivity of GO and support dental and bone tissue reconstruction applications.
There’s also much talk about the antibacterial properties of graphene materials. In this case as well, functionalization can be attempted, this time using gold and silver molecules with documented antibacterial effects. By attaching titanium dioxide molecules, it’s possible to achieve a nanomaterial platform with photocatalytic activity.
These are just some selected examples illustrating the possibilities of modifying graphene materials. There are many more potential solutions, including those related to industries such as cosmetics, energy, water filtration, and more.