Graphene will help in COVID fight, says Nobel Laureate

Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:00:00 BST

Graphene is to play an important role in combating COVID-19 - from improving PPE to the development of new diagnostic devices and smart medical clothing, according to Nobel Prize-winner Professor Kostya Novoselov.

Professor Novoselov - who with Professor Andre Geim was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 10 years ago this month for their work to isolate graphene - says globally scientists are committed to ensuring advanced materials are used to help fight the pandemic.

“It is crucially important to develop the vaccine against the virus – but, in the meanwhile, we need to apply all the possible measures to minimise the spread of the virus,” he said.

“Our task is to make those ‘graphene helpers’ as efficient as possible. I don’t think graphene is a panacea, but it holds a number of attractive characteristics and it definitely will be used - and, in fact, already is being used - to fight the virus, either in diagnostics or in protective gear or as an active ingredient.”

Professor Novoselov made his comments after the release of an international study he co-authored that reviewed the most advanced antimicrobial finishes on fabrics to protect the wearer against contamination, including the use of graphene.

Separate to this study Professor Henry Yi Li, Chair of Textile Science and Engineering at The University of Manchester, agrees that the use of fabrics has a key role in helping to safeguard us from COVID-19. He believed graphene-enhanced wearable technology would help with “detection, testing and diagnosis”.