Monthly Archives: August 2015

Seminars at Macquarie

Lothar_web28 August, 2015:

Professor Lothar Lilge, from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada undertook two seminars as part of a visit to the Macquarie University research node of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, Friday 28th August, 2015.

Professor Lilge’s first talk was titled: “Making PDT work for GBM and other brain tumours: predicting  Photosensitizer accumulation, planning the fluence field and increasing treatment selectivity.” It took place at Macquarie University.

His second talk, titled, “Optical Breast Spectroscopy for Breast Cancer Risk assessment and Identification of women at risk to harbouring early stage breast cancer” took place at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine.

Centre CIs win Eureka prize

Eureka27 August 2015:

A team headed up by CNBP Chief Investigators Prof. Dayong Jin and Prof. Tanya Monro has been recognised for its innovative research in developing super-bright nanocrystals (termed Super Dots), winning ‎the Eureka‬ 2015 Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.

The Super Dots team, consisting of Dayong Jin, CNBP, University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University; Tanya Monro, CNBP, University of South Australia and University of Adelaide; and Bradley Walsh, Minomic International and Macquarie University, was awarded the prize for its work in the creation and use of nanocrystals that can illuminate hidden diseased cells in a living body and which also has application in the labeling, coding and authentication space.

Based on advances in diverse fields including material chemistry, optical physics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational modelling and instrumentation engineering, Super Dot technology is truly interdisciplinary in nature explained Prof. Jin.

“Our invention is a typical example of an interdisciplinary approach.  By sourcing advances in physics, chemistry and biology, we have been able to breakthrough bottleneck issues in material sciences and optical physics, allowing us to develop a new transformational technology.”

He added, “Research within a single discipline is interesting, but interdisciplinary research, working with collaborators with a shared focus as a team, is far more exciting and rewarding.”

Additional information on this winning team is available online from the Australian Museum – Eureka web site.




CNBP session at ESA-SRB meeting

ESA meeting24 August 2015:

Nanoscale biosensing in reproductive medicine was the theme of a CNBP symposium at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology for 2015.

CNBP speakers included Prof. Mark Hutchinson, Prof. Ewa Goldys and A/Prof Brant Gibson who presented the concepts/applications of their CNBP work, followed by presentations specifically related to reproduction by Dr Erik Schartner, Mr Malcolm Purdy and Dr Sabrina Heng.

Title talks were as follows:

Mark Hutchinson: New windows into the body.

Ewa Goldys: Through the looking glass: what can we see in the early embryo when we look carefully enough.

Brant Gibson: Nanodiamond for BioPhotonic and Hybrid-Photonic applications.

Sabrina Heng: Microstructured Optical Fibers and Photoswitches: Light-Driven Sensors for
Metal Ions in Biology.

Erik Schartner: Development of optical fibre probes for biosensing applications.

Malcolm S Purdey: A Non-invasive Sensor for Hydrogen Peroxide and pH.

Further information on the meeting is available online.

Allenby Gardens school visit

Michelle-Zhang_web121 August 2015:

CNBP researchers Michelle Zhang and Vicky Staikopoulos visited Allenby Gardens Primary School in Adelaide during National Science Week. They talked to 30+ Year 5 students about the power of light and its use in medical research and diagnosis.

This included discussions on fluorescence in Nature and biology, and the use of advanced optical fibres, probes and lasers to better understand the living body.

Students at this outreach session were also provided with a demonstration illustrating the ‘exciting’ properties of light. Ultraviolet detecting beads containing pigments that change color when exposed to the sun, were used to show the impact of light on differing materials.

Alf Garcia-Bennett at IMMS-9

Alfonso Garcia-Bennett (2)20 August 2015:

Alf Garcia-Bennett, CNBP Research Fellow, has given an oral presentation at the 9th International Mesostructured Materials Symposium (IMMS-9) with an abstract titled “.”

The event, at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, facilitated discussion on progress and perspectives, fundamental challenges for synthesis chemistry, and industrial applications of mesostructured materials. Approximately 350 participants, 200 posters and about 10 exhibitors featured at the conference.

For more information, please refer to the conference website:


In recent years new approaches to the synthesis of mesoporous materials have been developed focusing on the use of non-surfactant templates that can offer new functions within the mesoporous produced without the need to eliminate the pore forming agent. Such functions may include the use of pharmaceutically active compounds as pore forming agents or the use of chiral compounds to transcribe a chiral surface within the pores. Furthermore, avoiding the need to remove the pore template by calcination has both environmental and economic consequences.

Recently we reported the synthesis of mesoporous material NGM-1 nanoporous guanosine material-1) which is prepared through the use of supramolecular template guanosine monophosphate (GMP), a nucleotide monomer in messenger RNA. The supramolecular assembly of GMP occurs via the formation of G4-quartets, hydrogen bonded species that supported via pi-stacking interactions form chiral hexagonal columnar species. These are stabilized via the  formation of cations (cations (Na+, K+, Rb+, Sr2+) which may direct the formation of various supramolecular structures.

The synthesis and structural properties of a variety of GMP template materials will be reported, highlighting the effects that the pore template has on the pore surface. Evidence based on a variety of techniques including X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and circular dichroism as well as other spectroscopic methods will be utilized in order to show the chiral transcription of the template within the pores of the ordered mesoporous materials produced.

Playford Primary visit

Michelle-Zhang_web118 August 2015:

In a school visit organised by the Smith Family Charity as a part of National Science Week, CNBP researcher Michelle Zhang and CNBP Honours student  Irene Willcocks, gave a 45 min talk and science demonstration to over 20 students at Playford Primary School, Northern Adelaide.

During the outreach session, the students (ranging from Year 2 to Year 6), learnt more about the science of light as well as its application in medicine.

Demonstrations involved the use of UV-active beads (which gain colour with the application of UV light) and each child was given a couple of beads to take home as a souvenir.

Also demonstrated was the use of fluorophore and fibre for use in medical research and diagnosis, in what was an enjoyable and educational session for all participants.


CNBP shares science at Open Day!

UofA open day 2015_web16 August 2015:

The CNBP shared its exciting science journey of “creating windows into the body” to potential future students, at the University of Adelaide Open Day, Sunday August 16th, 2015.

Over a 150 potential University students and their families dropped by the CNBP booth during the day to discuss future study and career paths, as well as to understand in greater detail, the research being undertaken by the Centre as well as across the field of biophotonics more generally.

Of particular interest to those individuals talking with CNBP researchers, was the inter-disciplinary nature of biophotonics, offering opportunities to high achieving students in a diverse range of disciplines including biology, physics, chemistry and medicine.

Kids navigate neuroscience

IMG_127115 August 2015:

CNBP Director Prof. Mark Hutchinson and Centre researcher Vicky Staikopoulos were talking Pirate Photons at the ‘Kids Navigate Neuroscience’ outreach event, coordinated and hosted by the University of Adelaide Medical School, August 15, 2015.

The event, supported by the Centre of Nanoscale BioPhotonics, contributed to National Science Week activity, and saw 250 children aged 6-12 in attendance. Over an action packed four hours the children explored how the brain and nervous system work in a fun and hands-on way by participating in a series of interactive neuroscience exhibits created by University faculty members and health sciences/medical students.

Feedback from the event was universally positive, with children gaining the opportunity to engage with science content in an entertaining and and approachable way.



Speaking about chronic pain

Mark Hutchinson Low Res Edit 016413 August 2015:

CNBP Director Prof. Mark Hutchinson has given a keynote presentation at the Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting (CHARM), Thursday 13th August 2015.

His presentation, “Speaking about chronic pain to drug addiction: why do you know you are sick?”, was streamed live with the recording now also available for viewing online.

CHARM, showcasing hot topics in medical science,  is held each year as a joint venture between ACT Health and a number of medical and research focused institutions located in the Canberra region.

Full details are available online at

New PhD student at Macquarie

Shaz_low-rez13 August 2015:

CNBP welcomes its newest PhD student, Shathili Abdulrahman (Shazy) at Macquarie University node. Following his graduation from the University of Sydney (Molecular Biology and Genetics), Shazy successfully finished a Master of Research under CNBP Chief Investigator Professor Nicki Packer, investigating sugar involvement in microbial pathogenicity.

He is now a CNBP PhD student involved in the ‘Discover’ research theme and the ‘Spark of Life’ biological challenge. His main aim is to quantify/discover target molecules influencing female fertility using -omics technologies. His thesis title is ‘The role of glycosylation in reproductive biology.’