A lightweight crash helmet that avoids head injuries because of its ability to evenly dissipate the force of an impact, transparent tattoos acting as body biosensors or spectrometers able to detect if fruit (or anything else) is damaged inside, are some of the applications showcased at the Graphene Conference 2017 that opened in Barcelona's International Convention center on Tuesday.
The exhibition stand of a Chinese company at the conference showcases possible applications: winter clothing woven with graphene heaters or lightweight, ultra-efficient-pollution filters are a couple of examples of what can be manufactured with this compound.
Professor Stephan Roche, of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnological Institute of Catalonia (ICN2), one of the organizers, told EFE that the possibilities of Graphene v3.0 _ as it is called _ were "infinite because it can contribute to enormously improve all types of products currently in the market," from cellular phones and sensors to health sciences or most everyday products.
The conference was organized by the Phantoms Foundation, the Nanoscience, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and ICN2.
Its aim was to bring together, until Friday, over 250 speakers and 950 experts to disclose the latest breakthroughs in graphene technology.
Among them are Nobel prize winners Andre Geim and Albert Fert.
Graphene may soon be also capable of studying the brain in a non-invasive-manner or avoid epileptic seizures.
Denis Guilhot, a researcher at Barcelona' s Institute of Photonic sciences (ICFO) told EFE its laboratories are currently investigating the possibility of using this material for transparent electrodes in touch screens.
"Thanks to being a flexible material that does not lose its electrical properties regardless of how many times it is folded, in the near future it may also be possible to manufacture foldable or flexible screens," said Guilhot, who is also working on the development of photodetectors that will make infrared night vision cameras lighter, cheaper and more versatile than the currently available models.
They are also involved in developing human body biosensors that are almost transparent and are able to monitor oxygen levels in the blood or muscle tissue by simply applying them onto the skin. They look like a tattoo.
"Graphene will not cure cancer, it will not be inserted directly into the body but it will offer an early warning system capable of detecting cancer at very early stages, Guilhot added.
Water pollution detectors, eyesight-saving ocular implants, lighter graphene vehicles or artificial limbs connectable to our nervous system are some other possible applications of this new material exhibited at this world-class Graphene summit that is connecting researchers and entrepreneurs seeking the way to integrate graphene into real, everyday objects.