After a substrate is coated with graphene, it appears shinier (right). (Credit: Caltech)

In two new studies, researchers demonstrate that graphene can greatly improve electrical circuits required for wearable and flexible electronics such as smart health patches and other flexible devices.

In one study, they demonstrated that gold coated in graphene could better withstand the sweat of a person’s body, and thus would make better implantable biosensors. Gold is a common ingredient used in the development of implantable biosensors, or smart patches — nanoscale devices for monitoring various health conditions. Graphene slows down the rate at which the gold is corroded.

The researchers grew graphene on gold and then exposed the material to saline solutions that mimic sweat. The results showed that the graphene-coated structure remained intact under conditions equivalent to approximately one month at normal human body temperatures, much longer than what is possible with gold alone.

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