A team of researchers says that we could one day use graphene to test for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – we also call it motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Stephen William Hawking (1942-2018), a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, had ALS.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which doctors diagnose through a process of elimination. In other words, they rule out other disorders until they reach a diagnosis.
A team of scientists carried out research on the use of graphene for testing neurodegenerative diseases. The team included people from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. They wrote about their study and findings in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (citation below).
Graphene, a single layer of pure carbons arranged in a honeycomb, is the lightest and thinnest material we know of. It is also the strongest material we know of and a very good conductor of heat and electricity. It is approximately 200 times stronger than the strongest steel in the world.
Adding cerebrospinal fluid to graphene
The researchers added cerebrospinal fluid from ALS patients to graphene. The fluid produced a distinct and different change in the graphene’s vibrational characteristics. Distinct and different, that is, compared to the fluid from multiple sclerosis patients and people without neurodegenerative diseases….