You can’t have advanced tech without the materials to support it. Whether it’s aluminium that served as the building material for aeroplanes or silicon that’s the basis for most electronic components. And we possibly have the next supermaterial in our hands right now, graphene.
Graphene is a two-dimensional material that’s harder than diamonds, three hundred times stronger than steel and way better than copper as a conductor (a thousand times better). It also happens to be flexible and transparent and could very well revolutionise everything from computers to race cars.
At the Mobile World Congress 2017, we witnessed live applications of key tech innovations. Here are some of the best of them in the field of health that’ll take you closer to being a cyborg!
Flexible Wellness Sensors
By using a material lighter than anything that’s present in today’s generation of electronic components that can also be flexible and transparent, manufacturers can unveil fitness devices that are truly next-gen. With graphene, you can gear up with an advanced generation of optical sensors, NFC/RFID tags, wireless receivers and transmitters and biosensors. We witnessed this prototype sticker that measures your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and possibilities to include your respiration rate and body temperature.
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Robotic Prosthetic Limbs
Developed by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), this robotic prosthetic hand is made of a cellulose and graphene composite that can be worn on the wrist with ease and mimics the movement of your hand into electrical signals that can move the artificial hand as well. Since it’s lighter than modern prosthetic limbs, it can serve as a handy upgrade for the handicapped.
For blind people with intact optical nerves, retinal implants can be a boon, enabling vision. Unlike traditionally used materials, graphene is amazingly biocompatible because it’s quite durable, lightweight and flexible. It serves as an excellent interface for communication between the retinal prosthesis and nerve tissue. This could be a huge step in the field of biomedical engineering.
The possibilities of what can be achieved with graphene are limitless. We can hardly wait to see these innovative prototypes make their way to the real world and change the world for the better.