Monthly Archives: August 2015

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.


The science of light at Seymour College

Georgios Tsminis_web17 August 2015:

Dr Georgios Tsiminis, Research Fellow at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, has presented an overview of research in light and biophotonics for students at Seymour College, Adelaide, in South Australia.

His talk, provided to students from Year 6-12, at the school’s general assembly, focused on the science of light, contributing to the school’s activities related to National Science Week.

Georgios spoke to students about how light can be used as a tool to understand the world around us, with a particular emphasis on the field of BioPhotonics and in vivo detection of early markers of disease.

The aim was to inspire young school children to view physics and photonics as a gateway to becoming involved in exciting transdisciplinary research, beyond the established narrow limits of what physics stands for.

Nanoparticle work presented at ANS conference

Vicky staikopoulos17 August 2015:

CNBP’s Vicky Staikopoulos presented a poster at the Australasian Neuroscience Society / International Society of Neurochemistry combined conference, in Cairns, August 2015.

The poster, detailing nanoparticle work in a perfused mouse brain, allowed Vicky to discuss her CNBP work to peers, for interest and feedback. There were positive responses to the work and people were interested in seeing how the research develops.


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.’

Novel scaffolds for MC3T3-E1 cell stimulation and drug release

Dayong Jin  Low Res Edit 009610 August 2015:

CNBP researchers Prof. Dayong Jin and Dr. Yong Liu feature on a newly published paper titled, “Multifunctional chitosan/polyvinyl pyrrolidone/45S5 Bioglass® scaffolds for MC3T3-E1 cell stimulation and drug release.” The paper was released in the journal, ‘Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications.’

Abstract: Novel chitosan–polyvinyl pyrrolidone/45S5 Bioglass® (CS-PVP/BG) scaffolds were prepared via foam replication and chemical cross-linking techniques. The pristine BG, CS-PVP coated BG and genipin cross-linked CS-PVP/BG (G-CS-PVP/BG) scaffolds were synthesized and characterized in terms of chemical composition, physical structure and morphology respectively. Resistance to enzymatic degradation of the scaffold is improved significantly with the use of genipin cross-linked CS-PVP. The bio-effects of scaffolds on MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells were evaluated by studying cell viability, adhesion and proliferation. The CCK-8 assay shows that cell viability on the resulting G-CS-PVP/BG scaffold is improved obviously after cross-linking of genipin. Cell skeleton images exhibit that well-stretched F-actin bundles are obtained on the G-CS-PVP/BG scaffold. SEM results present significant improvement on the cell adhesion and proliferation for cells cultured on the G-CS-PVP/BG scaffold. The drug release performance on the as-synthesized scaffold was studied in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution. Vancomycin is found to be released in burst fashion within 24 h from the pristine BG scaffold, however, the release period from the G-CS-PVP/BG scaffold is enhanced to 7 days, indicating improved drug release properties of the G-CS-PVP/BG scaffold. Our results suggest that the G-CS-PVP/BG scaffolds possess promising physicochemical properties, sustained drug release capability and good biocompatibility for MC3T3-E1 cells’ proliferation and adhesion, suggesting their potential applications in areas such as MC3T3-E1 cell stimulation and bone tissue engineering.

Qingqing Yao, Wei Li, Shanshan Yu, Liwei Ma, Dayong Jin, Aldo R. Boccaccini, Yong Liu, Materials Science and Engineering: C, 2015, 56, 473-480.

The full article can be downloaded here:

SPIE Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XIII Conference

brantgibson9 August 2015:

A/Prof Brant Gibson, CNBP CI,  presented a paper at the SPIE Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XIII Conference (OP416), San Diego, California, 9-13 August 2015.

The paper presented was titled: ‘Hybrid quantum photonic applications of nanodiamond.’


Fluorescent nanodiamonds (NDs) have a range of unique properties which make them highly desirable for bioimaging applications. Their fluorescence is produced via optical excitation of atomic defects, such as the negatively charged nitrogen vacancy centre, within the diamond crystal lattice. Possessing long-wavelength emission, high brightness, no photobleaching, no photoblinking, single photon emission at room temperature, nanometer size, biocompatibility, and an exceptional resistance to chemical degradation make NDs almost the ideal fluorescent bioimaging nanoprobe. I will discuss these exciting properties in detail and also give some examples of their nano-manipulation and integration with photonic materials for hybrid ND-photonic quantum applications.