In recent years, the scientific community has witnessed an exponential increase in the use of graphene for biomedical applications. For what concerns neuroscience, the interest raised by this material is given by the fact that graphene nanosheets can be used as carriers for biomolecule delivery to the central nervous system. In this case, an important aspect is the evaluation of their toxicity, which strongly depends on flake composition, chemical functionalization and dimensions. Furthermore, graphene can be exploited as a substrate for tissue engineering. In this application, conductivity is probably the most relevant amongst the various properties of the different graphene materials, as it may allow to instruct and interrogate neural networks, as well as to drive neural growth and differentiation.
This chapter discusses the engineering of graphene nanosheets able to cross the blood-brain-barrier to reach neural cells, and to achieve on-demand delivery of specific drugs. Moreover, the use of graphene to develop three-dimensional scaffolds, or as a component of hybrid composites/multi-layer organic electronics devices, is described. The need of an accurate theoretical modeling of the interface between graphene and biological material is also addressed, by describing the interaction of graphene with proteins and cell membranes at the nanoscale.