Monthly Archives: June 2015

Visitor Dr Lina Geng

image description29 June 2015:

We welcome our latest visitor to CNBP, the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and the University of Adelaide School of Physical Sciences, Dr Lina Geng.

Dr Geng from China, will spend six months in Prof Andrew Abell’s group from June to December, 2015.

Dr Lina Geng earned her M.Sci and Ph.D degrees in inorganic chemistry. After the completion of her PhD degree, she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in physiology. Presently, she is an associate professor in inorganic chemistry at Hebei Normal University, China. Her research interests involve gas sensing, iron metabolism and liposome drug delivery systems.


Roman Kostecki at ICMAT2015

Roman Kostecki28 June 2015:

CNBP researcher Roman Kostecki presented his latest research paper at the 8th International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT2015). The conference, twinned with the 4th Photonics Global Conference took place in Singapore 28 June – 3 July 2015.

The paper, titled “Thin-film Polymer Functionalization of Optical Fiber Enabling Multiligand Chemosensing” was published with an author list consisting of Roman KOSTECKI, Sabrina HENG, Heike EBENDORFF-HEIDEPRIEM, Andrew ABELL, and Tanya MONRO.


Silica exposed-core microstructured optical fibers (EC-MOFs) are a platform for distributed, in situ, and/or remote sensors based on fluorescence. The portion of light guided outside of the glass core, often described as ‘evanescent field’, is affected by the refractive index and absorption characteristics of the surrounding medium. This light-matter overlap provides opportunities for fluorometric measurements of the composition and concentration of an analyte along the fiber length. Functionalizing the core with a chemosensor removes the need for chemosensor/analyte premixing. Detection of aluminum cations (Al) is of particular interest as a means to monitor corrosion, human health and the environment.

We demonstrate the first example of a photo-switchable chemosensor for Al detection using a modified photochromic spiropyran (SP-I), which is appended to an ionophore for cation binding. Photochemical switching of the spiropyran allows ion binding to be switched on and off, creating a multiple use chemosensor. The SP-I sensor binds Al or calcium cations as multi- or single-ligand complexes respectively, and was modified for surface attachment. Silane- or polyelectrolyte-based methodology allows subsequent attachment of the SP-I to a glass surface. Studies with the dual ion binding SP-I integrated with the EC-MOF sensing platform provide evidence that covalent attachment is ineffective, where multiligand binding chemosensors are needed. Functionalizing EC-MOFs with a thin-film (50 nm) polymer doped with SP-I demonstrates capacity to use both multi- and single-ligand binding chemosensors. This demonstrates that the integration of photo-switchable chemosensor, thin-film polymer, and silica optical fiber elements creates a sensor capable of multiligand chemosensing anywhere along the fiber’s length. The work demonstrates a new pathway to next generation reusable and continuous operation ion sensing platforms, and that the local molecular environment of a chemosensor affects its function which can be used to control how metal ions interact with chemosensors.


Successful fellowship support

cnbplogosquare124 June 2015:

CNBP is pleased to announce that Depeng Kong has won a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at CNBP for a year to fabricate new fibres.

The CAS is an institution of the State Council of China, functioning as the national scientific thinktank and academic governing body.



Supervised student selected as Reaxys finalist

Henry Pepper photo_web23 June 2015:

In a major international achievement, Henry Pepper from the University of Adelaide has been selected as one of the finalists for the 2015 Reaxys PhD Prize, from over 450 submissions around the world.

His representative paper entitled: ‘Biomimetic Total Synthesis of (±)-Merochlorin A’ was published in Angewandte Chemie, 2013.

Henry is the only finalist from an Australian university and he will attend the Reaxys PhD Prize Symposium in Hong Kong in September 2015.

Henry is supervised by CNBP Associate Investigator Jonathan George (Principle supervisor) and CNBP Chief Investigator Andrew Abell (co-supervisor).

Additional information available from the following web site:

RACI Athel Beckwith Lectureship awarded

Jonathan George23 June 2015:

Jonathan George (CNBP Associate Investigator) has been awarded the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Athel Beckwith Lectureship for 2015.

This is an annual funded lectureship to allow outstanding, recently appointed, organic chemists to travel around Australia and present the results of their research work. The objective is to provide the Lecturer with the opportunity to achieve broader recognition and exposure at an early stage in their career.

Further information on the Lectureship can be found on the RACI web site:

Winning outreach strategy

Alfonso Garcia-Bennett (2)17 June 2015:

Ample use of liquid nitrogen and dry ice was a winning outreach strategy employed by CNBP Research Fellow, Alf Garcia-Bennett in his attempt to demonstrate to Year 1 school children, the differing states of matter.

In an hour long presentation to approximately 25 young students at Cammeray Public School in Sydney, Garcia-Bennett used these substances to demonstrate changes from liquids and solids to gas.

The changing properties of matter due to temperature was also demonstrated with the cooling of a piece of rubber to liquid nitrogen temperatures, where it was made brittle instead of flexible.

According to Garcia-Bennett, “The children had a lot of fun understanding the scale of matter from the size of a human hair to the size of atoms. They were also curious and surprisingly aware of concepts like particles and atoms. They particularly enjoyed the bubbles created by dry ice in contact with water and learnt how gases can be trapped within bubbles”.

Summing up the experience, Garcia-Bennett concluded, “It was a fun day with more outreach demonstrations to come in the future”.

CNBP CI gives keynote nano talk

brantgibson16 June 2015:

Brant Gibson, Associate Professor at RMIT University and CNBP Chief Investigator, was keynote speaker at the “Vaccine, Diagnostics and Therapeutics Symposium: Exploring Nanotechnologies,” event, hosted by the Burnet Institute at the Alfred Centre, in Melbourne.

Taking place on June 16th, 2015, Brant’s talk was titled, “Nanodiamond for biophotonic and hybrid-photonic applications.”


Inspiring visit to Sydney Girls High School

Ewa Goldys Low Res Edit 015916 June 2015:

CNBP Deputy Director, Prof Ewa Goldys had an inspiring visit to Sydney Girls High School on Thursday, June 11, 2015 where she acted as an ‘expert judge’ in assessing Year 9 students and their research projects as part of the school’s annual Science Conference.

Students designed and performed an investigation into a research area of their own choosing (a part of the NSW Science Curriculum) with the Conference providing a forum where students could present their research to an expert panel.

The panel not only provided students with feedback relating to their investigation, but also determined the projects worthy of further recognition. The determination considered both experimental design and the ability of the student to communicate their ideas.

Goldys enjoyed attending and judging the competition noting, “All students were enthusiastic and their work prepared to a very high standard. The winning entries were intellectually sophisticated and impressively presented. This is an excellent initiative and we are hoping to maintain our association with this activity over future years.”

Areas investigated by the students ranged from gel electrophoresis to clean energy.

Pictured below – Ewa Goldys with the winning students.

MQ Ewa outreach_lowrez


Macquarie node welcomes visitor Prof. Teresa Petersen

Teresa Petersen

16 June 2015:

CNBP’s Macquarie University node is pleased to welcome Associate Professor Teresa Petersen from Aalborg University, Denmark who is visiting the Centre for a two week period. As a part of the visit she will be giving a seminar titled “Towards a new photonic cancer therapy: stopping cancer cell activation, migration and metastases with light.” The seminar will take place on Friday 19th June.

All are welcome with seminar details as follows:

Seminar time: 15:00-16:00, Friday, 19 June
Seminar Room: E6A 102 Theatrette