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EU to Spend $1.3 Billion on Graphene Research Fund

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The Graphene Flagship, a $1.3-billion research fund, was recently established by the European Union “[a]fter decades of watching Asia and the U.S. cash in on ideas developed by European scientists.”

Bloomberg reported that a University of Manchester team led by Professor Kostas Kostarelos is working to find out whether graphene damages human organs. Ultimately, Kostarelos’ goal is to use “graphene to build tiny drones that deliver medicine internally.”

He and his team hope to receive money from the Graphene Flagship, a $1.3-billion research fund that was recently established by the European Union. The EU reportedly set up the fund “[a]fter decades of watching Asia and the U.S. cash in on ideas developed by European scientists.”

Kostarelos commented:

We’re trying to design vehicles that you can inject in the bloodstream or eyeball or spinal cord or in the brain, to try and get to a particular diseased cell population, so you don’t create collateral damage.

As quoted in the market news:

While Kostarelos said the drone may be decades away from functioning, a team at Swiss university ETH Zurich is designing a spinning tail, similar to a sperm’s, to serve as a propulsion mechanism. Kostarelos is experimenting with various thicknesses of graphene sheets for a needle small enough to overcome another obstacle – penetrating the walls of a cell. He already believes he has answered one of the critical questions.

‘If you design this self-propelling vehicle, and you get in front of a cell you want to transfer therapeutic materials into it, how would you do it?’ Kostarelos said. ‘Can graphene slide through a cell’s plasma membrane? The answer is yes.’

Click here to read the full Bloomberg report.

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