Graphene, a one-atom-thick two-dimensional (2D) layer of sp2-bonded carbon, has received worldwide attention owing to its extraordinary physical and chemical properties. Recently, great efforts have been devoted to explore potential applications of graphene and its oxide in life science, especially in disease-related diagnostics, near-Infrared (NIR) phototherapy and imaging. Here we will introduce recent advances and new horizons in this area, and focus on the rising progress on NIR photothermal therapy for cancer and Alzheimer's disease (AD), human telomerase detection, stem cell proliferation and differentiation on graphene substrate, diagnosis of cancer cell and related biomarkers, drug/nucleotide/peptide delivery and cell imaging, which have not been comprehensively reviewed. We hope to provide an outlook to the applications of graphene and its oxide, especially on the new horizons in this field, and inspire broader interests across various disciplines.
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