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The Emergence of Graphene Oxide As a Vaccine Issue

A Spanish team of researchers reported that they had detected the presence of graphene oxide (GO) in the Pfizer vaccine. The best reference to this report that we can find is this article: Analysis of Vaccination Vial Confirms Presence of Graphene Nanoparticles [VIDEO] and associated video:

In this article, emphasis in quotes is our addition. Before we address the vaccine issue, here’s some background on GO.

What Is Graphene Oxide?

Graphene is a nano-engineered material consisting of a single sheet of interlinked carbon atoms formed from hexagonal cells.

Figure 1. Graphene. C represents a carbon atom and each line a chemical bond.

GO is a chemically modified form of graphene formed by adding oxygen atoms, hydroxl ions and other atomic elements to the graphene structure. GO can have many different formulations[6]. A pictorial example of one is in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Graphene oxide. The carbon atoms are not shown but O represents an oxygen atom, OH a hydroxyl ion, and COOH a carboxyl group.

The chemical supply company, MSE Supplies[7], lists an array of applications for GO in electronics, aviation, and medicine. In particular they note:

The functionalized graphene oxide sheets and nanoparticles (NPs) find use in delivery systems, tissue engineering, cancer therapies, imaging, and cytotoxicity, and in many areas of regenerative medicine.

It proves helpful in new drug delivery concepts based on controlling mechanisms, such as targeting and stimulation with pH, chemical interactions, thermal, photo- and magnetic induction [paramagnetism], and more. The fluorescent property of graphene oxide makes it useful for the production of various medical applications.

MSE Supplies (2021)[7]

Note the use in drug delivery systems which is primarily what a vaccine is.

Graphene Oxide is Paramagnetic

What we commonly refer to as (permanent) magnetism is more properly called ferromagnetism. It is the property of a material such as iron (hence ‘ferro’), nickel, or cobalt to become magnetized in the presence of an external magnet or magnetic field with the magnetism persisting after the external field is removed.

Paramagnetism[9] refers to the property of a material to become magnetic in the presence of an external magnet or magnetic field. This is an induced magnetism (see the MSE Supplies description above) that persists only as long as the external magnetic field is applied. The strength of paramagnetism is proportional to the strength of the applied magnetic field.

An additional type of magnetism exhibited by some synthetic materials is superparamagnetism. It’s a more complex property but is defined as having a “net paramagnetic response, yet displaying ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic ordering at the microscopic level[9].

The key point is that graphene oxide contains no ferromagnetic material such as iron but can still be magnetized as long as an external magnet is in its presence, due to its paramagnetic property[7]. This may explain the anecdotal observed effect of magnets sticking to the injection site of some individuals[5].

He et al (2021)[10] noted the use of magnetic forms of graphene oxide in bio-applications including:

bioimaging, biosensors, biochemical extraction and separation, stem cell regulation and the induction of differentiation, targeted drug delivery, and cancer therapy.

He et al (2021)[10]

Their paper is behind a paywall so we have only read the abstract. By “magnetic” i asume they mean superparamagnetic.

This follow the discovery by Yang et al (2009)[11] that a superparamagnetic form of graphene oxide with Fe3O4 can be used for “controlled targeted drug delivery and release“.

Graphene Oxide is Toxic

The Spanish research referenced at the top of this article raised the issue of graphene oxide toxicity associated with the vaccine. There has been more material coming out of Spain including a video whic I have decided not to include because I consider some of the claims simply wrong and others unsupported.

The following video with Dr. Jane Ruby is a good introduction to the topic.

In the video, she describes how GO penetrates the cell membrane, a property necessary to insert the spike protein mRNA into the cell.

Gurunathan et al (2019)[1] did an in vitro study of the effect of graphene oxide exposure on a human embryonic kidney cell-line, HEK293. In quoting their results I have included a lot of the specific technical description of the impact of GO to give an idea of how extensive the cellular damage and toxicity caused by it can be. They found that

graphene oxide exposure elicits significant decreases in mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP synthesis, as well as in DNA damage and caspase 3 activity. Furthermore, our RNA-Seq analysis revealed that HEK293 cells exposed to graphene oxide significantly altered the expression of genes involved in multiple apoptosis-related biological pathways

exposure to graphene oxide induces changes in cellular responses and massive cell death in HEK293 cells.

Gurunathan et al (2019[1]

The cellular mitochondria are the little engines that manufacture a chemical called ATP which is the source of energy for all cells. Interfere with the production of ATP and the cell dies, a process known as apoptosis.

Liao et al (2011)[3] also discus the cytotoxicity of GO. They found that:

Clearly, the toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide depends on the exposure environment (i.e., whether or not aggregation occurs) and mode of interaction with cells (i.e., suspension versus adherent cell types).

Liao et al (2011)[3]

Ou et al (2016)[8] did a survey of the toxicology of graphene-family nanoparticles. However, we are not doing a study of the cytotoxity and have not done a large literature search. We did encounter a number of references to it so it is a well known property of GO.

In summary, graphene oxide can be highly cytotoxic (toxic to human cells). However, the literature indicates that the level of toxicity, as Dr. Ruby notes, varies with the GO formulation, means of administration, and possibly other factors.

Graphene Oxide in Pfizer’s Vaccine?

The initial claim by the Spanish team of GO in the Pfizer vaccine seems credible. It is to be expected that others will confirm this finding. Karen Kingston, a former Pfizer consultant, also gives a credible description of its presence in the vaccine.

Kingston gives the reason for GO’s inclusion to be its electric and magnetic properties. This is different from the hypothetical use that I identified as a delivery system. Her description is not a statement about use but about properties of GO which are certainly present if used firstly as a delivery system. The value of this interview is in the identification of source information and how she found it. Here is the the website for SINOPEG that she mentions.

Summary

The problem in constructing mRNA vaccines is to get the mRNA strand which is highly degradable and not able to enter a cell by itself, into a formulation that stabilizes it and delivers it into the cell for mRNA/DNA replication. The general literature on GO identifies it as a viable delivery system for drug components. Therefore it would be expected that Pfizer, if not Moderna, would have developed a proprietary formulation of GO as the vaccine delivery component.

The associated paramagnetic property would explain why a magnet might stick to the injection site before the lipid nanoparticles of the vaccine can disperse throughout the body (see PK mobility in Understanding the Danger of the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines). The site itself would not be magnetic but would be expected to deliver a magnetic response to a magnet applied to it, proportional to the strength of the magnet.

GO certainly has other uses in electronics that could potentially be piggybacked onto a vaccine, but this is speculation for the moment. Apart from its toxicity, I see a major concern about its accumulation in the body. It is an inorganic rather than an organic chemical and we may have no enzymes or immune system components such as macrophages that can break it down or eliminate it. Given that Big Pharma and Big Government are moving towards 6 month intervals between booster shots, this accumulation could become lethal.

Followup: 20210806

After thinking about it for a couple of days I decided to see if Kingston’s video led anywhere. The patent as she explained contained no reference to GO. I spent some time on the SINOPEG website. None of the PEG products listed as excipients, particularly COVID-19 Vaccine Excipients, exhibits a GO structure. Internal searchess of their site turned up no products specifically linked to GO.

The site does contain a paper by Li et al (2020)[12] describing a PEGylated form of GO, GO-PEG, that the company developed but they describe the use as for energy storage. Papers by Chu et al (2018) and Charmia et al (2019)[14] describe the use of GO-PEGs for drug delivery.

In conclusion, other than the Spanish, research there is no direct conclusive supporting evidence at this time for the inclusion of GO in any of the vaccines. The literature identifies GO as a viable candidate for vaccine delivery for COVID-19 vaccines, but this is circumstantial evidence only.

Although SINOPEG can source some of the PEGs used in the vaccines such as PEG2000, it does not appear to have a GO PEG formulation available. One could be sourced from another company or made in-house by a proprietary (non-patented) method.

A thoughtful reader named Bill pointed me to a Chinese patent filed by Daxiang et al (2020)[15] and assigned to Shanghai National Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Co Ltd. Nature index describes the company as an umbrella organization:

Research collaboration: National Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology (NERCN) is a research collaboration whose article contributions are accrued to its participating partner institutions.

Patent CN112220919A[15]

The patent claim describes the use of a GO backbone material as a carrier for the S protein mRNA:

A coronavirus vaccine, wherein said coronavirus comprises graphene oxide, carnosine, CpG, and a novel coronavirus receptor binding domain; binding carnosine, CpG, and a novel coronavirus receptor binding region on a backbone of graphene oxide; the CpG coding sequence is shown as SEQ ID NO 1; the novel coronavirus receptor binding region refers to a novel coronavirus S protein receptor binding region.

ibid,

It appears that the Chinese have patented the use of GO in COVID-19 vaccines. If the coverage is broad enough, neither Pfizer nor Moderna may be able to use GO in their vaccines unless they licence the technology which is certainly possible.

We conclude that the presence of GO in the Pfizer vaccine is inconclusive.

References

  1. Gurunathan S, Arsalan Iqbal M, Qasim M, et al. Evaluation of Graphene Oxide Induced Cellular Toxicity and Transcriptome Analysis in Human Embryonic Kidney Cells. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Jul 2;9(7):969. doi: 10.3390/nano9070969. PMID: 31269699; PMCID: PMC6669460.
  2. Removed.
  3. Liao KH, Lin YS, MacOsko CW, Haynes CL. Cytotoxicity of graphene oxide and graphene in human erythrocytes and skin fibroblasts. U. of Mimm. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2011 Jul 30;3(7):2607-15. Epub 2011 Jun 30.
  4. A former Pfizer employee shows documentation of graphene oxide in COVID-19 vaccines. Pandemic Timeline. July 28, 2021.
  5. Goudjil M and Goudjil A. Study on Electromagnetism of Vaccinated Persons. Global Research, July 28, 2021.
  6. Dreyer DR, Park S, Bielawskia CW and Ruoff RS. The chemistry of graphene oxide. Chemical Society Reviews. November 03, 2009. DOI: 10.1039/b917103g. PDF
  7. Five Applications Of Graphene Oxide. MSE Supplies. July 02, 2021.
  8. Ou L, Song B, Liang H, et al. Toxicity of graphene-family nanoparticles: a general review of the origins and mechanisms. Particle and Fibre Toxicology (2016) 13:57. DOI 10.1186/s12989-016-0168-y. PDF.
  9. Helmenstine AM. Paramagnetism Definition and Examples. ThoughtCo. Updated July 14, 2019.
  10. He Y, Chen Y, Zhang X, Yu D. Magnetic graphene oxide: Synthesis approaches, physicochemical characteristics, and biomedical applications. TrAC. Volume 136, March 2021, 116191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2021.116191.
  11. Yang X, Zhang X, Ma Y, et al. Superparamagnetic graphene oxide–Fe3O4 nanoparticles hybrid for controlled targeted drug carriers. Journal of Materials Chemistry. March 05, 2009. DOI: 10.1039/b821416f. PDF.
  12. Li Y, Bi X, Wang S, et al. Core-shell structured polyethylene glycol functionalized graphene for energy-storage polymer dielectrics: Combined mechanical and dielectric performances. C.S. & T. Volume 199, 20 October 2020, 108341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2020.108341.
  13. Chu J, Shi P, Yan W, et al. PEGylated graphene oxide-mediated quercetin-modified collagen hybrid scaffold for enhancement of MSCs differentiation potential and diabetic wound healing. Nanoscale. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8NR02538J. PDF.
  14. Charmia J, Nosrati H, Amjadc JM, et al. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) decorated graphene oxide nanosheets for controlled release curcumin delivery. Heliyon. Volume 5, Issue 4, April 10, 2019, e01466. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01466.
  15. Daxiang C, High, Hui L, Jing T, Xueling L, and Qi S. Nano coronavirus recombinant vaccine taking graphene oxide as carrier. Patent CN112220919A. September 09, 2020.
  16. Daxiang C, Cao W, He L, Cao W, Huang X, Jia K, Dai J. Recent progress of graphene oxide as a potential vaccine carrier and adjuvant. Acta Biomater. 2020 Aug;112:14-28. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.06.009. Epub 2020 Jun 10. PMID: 32531395.

The POOG

I started a blog in 2011 called The POOG, an acronym for "pissed off old guy". This is the current incarnation.

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