Monthly Archives: April 2016

Prof Packer gives plenary lecture at ASMR

Nicki Packer Low Res Edit 012529 April 2016:

The Australian Society of Medical Research (ASMR) has held its 3rd Annual Newcastle Satellite Scientific Meeting, with CNBP Chief Investigator Prof. Nicolle Packer giving the plenary lecture.

With a theme of ‘Supporting Early Career Research’, the meeting attracted health and medical research focused students, research assistants and Early Career Researchers.

Prof Packer spoke about her current research, with a focus on the structure, function, informatics and application of glycans and their conjugates as molecular markers, looking at their role in cancer, therapeutics and microbial infection.


Assembly of functional upconversion nanoparticles

cnbplogosquare127 April 2016:

CNBP researchers have developed a strategy to synthesize targeted PDT nanocomposites combining photosensitizer molecules with upconversion nanoparticles and tumor-targeting

Publication title: Facile Assembly of Functional Upconversion Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy.

Authors: Liuen Liang, Andrew Care (pictured), Run Zhang, Yiqing Lu, Nicolle H. Packer, Anwar Sunna, Yi Qian and Andrei V Zvyagin.

Abstract: The treatment depth of existing photodynamic therapy (PDT) is limited due to the absorption of the visible excitation light in biological tissue. It can be augmented by means of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNP) transforming deep-penetrating near-infrared (NIR) light to visible light, exciting PDT drugs. We report here a facile strategy to assemble such PDT nanocomposites functionalized for cancer targeting, based on coating of the UCNP with a silica layer encapsulating the Rose Bengal photosensitizer and bioconjugation to antibodies through a bifunctional fusion protein consisting of a solid-binding peptide linker (L) genetically fused to Streptococcus Protein G’ (PG). The fusion protein (Linker-Protein G, LPG) mediates the functionalization of silica-coated UCNPs (UCNP@SiO2) with cancer cell antibodies allowing for specific target recognition and delivery. The resulting nanocomposites were shown to target cancer cells specifically, generate intracellular reactive oxygen species under 980-nm excitation, and induce NIR-triggered phototoxicity to suppress cancer cell growth in vitro.

The paper is available online.

Imaging for neuroimmune research

cnbplogosquare126 April 2016:

CNBP scientists have authored a new review paper, detailing the latest in imaging technologies for use in neuroimmune related research.

Publication title:  Novel imaging tools for investigating the role of immune signalling in the brain.

Authors:  Jonathan Henry W Jacobsen, Lindsay M Parker, Arun V Everest-Dass, Erik P Schartner, Georgios Tsiminisa, Vasiliki Staikopoulos, Mark R Hutchinson and Sanam Mustafa.

Abstract: The importance of neuro-immune interactions in both physiological and pathophysiological states cannot be overstated. As our appreciation for the neuroimmune nature of the brain and spinal cord grows, so does our need to extend the spatial and temporal resolution of our molecular analysis techniques. Current imaging technologies applied to investigate the actions of the neuroimmune system in both health and disease states have been adapted from the fields of immunology and neuroscience. While these classical techniques have provided immense insight into the function of the CNS, they are however, inherently limited. Thus, the development of innovative methods which overcome these limitations are crucial for imaging and quantifying acute and chronic neuroimmune responses. Therefore, this review aims to convey emerging novel and complementary imaging technologies in a form accessible to medical scientists engaging in neuroimmune research.

The research paper is available online.


Frontiers in Sialic Acid conference

Arun223 April 2016:

Arun Dass, CNBP researcher presented a poster at the ‘Frontiers in Sialic Acid Research Conference’ in Bad Lauterberg, Germany, 23-25 April 2016. The program of this meeting was dedicated to addressing and integrating all aspects of sialic acid related research. Internationally recognized experts met with junior scientists to establish a vivid and stimulating discussion platform.

Conference information is available online.

Fellowship supports study into stress

Michael_Baratta_web22 April 2016:

The Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence is pleased to announce Dr Michael Baratta, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, as the successful recipient of the CNBP-American Australian Association (AAA) Fellowship for 2016.

The Fellowship, coordinated by the AAA and funded by the CNBP, provides US$30,000 to support an American PhD or early career Postdoctoral Fellow who wishes to conduct one year of research at a CNBP research node in Australia.

Dr Baratta, a specialist in brain function and behaviour will explore the use of novel CNBP
biophotonics to examine in real-time, neuro-circuitry activity related to stress. The research will help inform therapeutic efforts focused on instilling stress resilience – a key way in which the body is able to deal with adverse events, situations or environments.

Based at CNBP’s administrative headquarters at the University of Adelaide, Dr Baratta will also collaborate extensively with CNBP researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney.

For further information, the associated CNBP media release can be viewed online.


Online talk at Biophotonics Symposium, University of Baghdad

ayad_anwer-low-rez121 April 2016:

Researchers in Iraq at the University of Baghdad have learnt more about the CNBP as well as the current trends in nanoscale biophotonics, following an invited talk, provided by CNBP researcher Dr Ayad Anwer.

The talk, delivered remotely via the web, featured as part of a Biophotonics Symposium that took place at the University’s Institute of Laser for Postgraduate Studies. The Institute responds to the requirements of scientific fields and modern technologies related to laser and its applications in a wide variety of fields across medicine, biology, dentistry and engineering.

Said Dr Anwer, ” My talk explored recent research as well as applications related to nanoscale biophotonics. I also provided an overview of CNBP’s structure, research themes, activities, research projects and aims. Questions following my talk tended to focus on label free imaging technology and specific nanoparticle applications.”

Concluding, he commented, “Feed back from the talk was extremely positive and potential collaborations between our two groups was also discussed. The session went extremely well!”


Kids learn photonics at STEMSEL session

STEMSEL1editweb19 April 2016:

CNBP was happy to host the next generation of young scientists at today’s ‘STEMSEL Photonics’ session at the University of Adelaide node.

STEMSEL clubs, standing for ‘Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Social Enterprise Learning’ are an arm of the STEMSEL Foundation which is a not for profit organisation that aims to teach every child how to use electronics.

Over twenty Year 3 to Year 9 students were in attendance at this session, with CNBP researchers Roman Kostecki (a physics focus) and Sabrina Heng (a chemistry focus) helping lead the discussion and activities.

Concepts such as photons, light interaction with matter, Fermat’s principle, emission, absorption, lasers, fibre optics and organic chemistry, were all described and demonstrated.

Both researchers enjoyed the afternoon, showing the kids that science, technology and photonics can be awesomely interesting, as well as really good fun!


Welcome Megan Lim

Megan-Lim_lowrez18 April 2016:

We welcome new PhD student Megan Lim, enrolled at the School of Medicine, University of Adelaide who will be working on the haemoglobin project within the Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics.

Supervised by Dr Hannah Brown and A/Prof Jeremy Thompson, Megan will also work closely with Tony Orth (CNBP researcher at RMIT University) and Ewa Goldys (CNBP Deputy Director at Macquarie University) on characteristics of haemoglobin autofluorescence and other related activities.

Welcome to the team Megan. It’s great to have you on board!


High temp sensing using suspended-core optical fibers

High Res Edit 008914 April 2016:

CNBP Chief Investigator Tanya Monro and senior researcher Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem are co-authors on a newly published paper in the Journal ‘Optics Express’.

Publication title: Interferometric high temperature sensor using suspended-core optical fibers.

Authors: Linh Viet Nguyen, Stephen C Warren-Smith, Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Tanya M Monro.

Abstract: We propose and experimentally demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, high temperature fiber sensing using the multimode interference effect within a suspended-core microstructured optical fiber (SCF). Interference fringes were found to red-shift as the temperature increased and vice versa. Temperature sensing up to 1100°C was performed by measuring the wavelength shifts of the fringes after fast Fourier transform (FFT) filtering of the spectra. In addition, phase monitoring at the dominant spatial frequency in the Fourier spectrum was used as an interrogation method to monitor various temperature-change scenarios over a period of 80 hours. Our proposed high temperature fiber sensor is simple, cost-effective, and can operate at temperatures beyond 1000°C.

The paper is accessible online.