27 June 2016:
Dr Stephen Warren-Smith, currently working at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), Jena, Germany will return to the University of Adelaide in October this year, to take-up a four-year 2016 Ramsay Fellowship.
In exciting news for the Centre, and in conjunction with this Fellowship commencement, Stephen will also be granted official CNBP Associate Investigator status.
A University of Adelaide graduate, Stephen will be looking to develop very fine optical fibres with a range of potential industrial and diagnostic imaging applications, including bronchoscopy, where very thin endoscopes are required to reach the periphery of the lung.
We look forward to working closely with Stephen in this exciting area of research!
For further information on this story, please visit the University of Adelaide news site.
23 June 2016:
CNBP Research Fellow Dr Philipp Reineck (RMIT University node) is lead author on a new research paper, reporting on ‘Brightness and Photostability of Emerging Red and Near-IR Fluorescent Nanomaterials for Bioimaging.’
The work was co-authored by CNBP researchers A/Prof Brant Gibson, Dr Antony Orth and Dr Desmond Lau.
Journal: Advanced Optical Materials
Publication title: Brightness and photostability of emerging red and near-IR fluorescent nanomaterials for bioimaging.
Authors: Philipp Reineck, Adam Francis, Antony Orth, Desmond Wai Mo Lau, Reece David Valmont Nixon-Luke, Ishan Das Rastogi, Wan Aizuddin Wan Razali, Nicole Maree Cordina, Lindsay Marie Parker, Varun Kumaraswamy Annayya Sreenivasan, Louise Jennifer Brown and Brant Cameron Gibson.
Many novel fluorescent nanomaterials exhibit radically different optical properties compared to organic fluorophores that are still the most extensively used class of fluorophores in biology today. Assessing the practical impact of these optical differences for bioimaging experiments is challenging due to a lack of published quantitative benchmarking data. This study therefore directly and quantitatively compares the brightness and photostability of representatives from seven classes of fluorescent materials in spectroscopy and fluorescence microscopy experiments for the first time. These material classes are: organic dyes, semiconductor quantum dots, fluorescent beads, carbon dots, gold nanoclusters, nanodiamonds, and nanorubies. The relative brightness of each material is determined and the minimum material concentrations required to generate sufficient contrast in a fluorescence microscopy image are assessed. The influence of optical filters used for imaging is also discussed and suitable filter combinations are identified. The photostability of all materials is determined under typical imaging conditions and the number of images that can be acquired is inferred. The results are expected to facilitate the transition of novel fluorescent materials from physics and chemistry into biology laboratories.
The publication is accessible online.
Below – An artistic representation of nano-diamonds being used to light up and image a long chain of proteins. Image courtesy of Dr Carlo Bradac.
23 June 2016:
CNBP researchers Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang (pictured left) and Prof Andrew Abell (CNBP Chief Investigator) report on an NMR and X-ray crystallography-based characterisation of the mechanism by which a new class of macrocyclic peptidomimetic aldehyde inhibits α-chymotrypsin.
This provides molecular level insight into the mechanism and functionalities of proteases, which are crucial for many biological systems including neuronal, embryonic and cardiovascular systems.
Journal: Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Publication title: A mechanistic study on the inhibition of α-chymotrypsin by a macrocyclic peptidomimetic aldehyde.
Authors: X. Zhang, J. B. Bruning, J. H. George and A. D. Abell
Abstract: Here we describe an NMR and X-ray crystallography-based characterisation of the mechanism by which a new class of macrocyclic peptidomimetic aldehyde inhibits α-chymotrypsin. In particular, a 13C-labelled analogue of the inhibitor was prepared and used in NMR experiments to confirm formation of a hemiacetal intermediate on binding with α-chymotrypsin. Analysis of an X-ray crystallographic structure in complex with α-chymotrypsin reveals that the backbone adopts a stable β-strand conformation as per its design. Binding is further stabilised by interaction with the oxyanion hole near the S1 subsite and multiple hydrogen bonds.
The paper is accessible online.
20 June 2016:
Attendees at Sydney’s ‘Physics in the pub’ event were treated to a magical light-inspired show by CNBP researchers Martin Ploschner, Denitza Denkova and Varun Sreenivasan. Together they wowed the audience at the Three Wise Monkeys Hotel, using little more than UV light, fluorescent paint and other handy fluorescing materials.
Their act, one of a number on the night, aimed to take science out of the laboratory, to take it to the public, and to make it educational, entertaining and fun in equal measure!
All three researchers enjoyed the experience of showcasing their science in a relaxed and informal environment, and quickly overcame any potential stage nerves to flaunt their fluro-physics to a full-house of engaged and interested members of the public.
Well done to all three – a short video of the fun-filled show can be viewed online!
20 June 2016:
CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys, has taken part in the development of an OSA white paper on the subject of label-free techniques for biomedical diagnostics and imaging.
The white paper, just released, was based on the many contributions to an OSA Incubator event held on 16-18 September 2015 at OSA Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA.
The goal of this event was to evaluate the main bottlenecks for clinical translation of label-free optical techniques including technological and regulatory challenges, to identify potential solutions and to develop a prioritized list of recommendations.
Titled, “Label-free Optical Techniques for Biomedical Diagnostics & Imaging: Challenges and Opportunities for Clinical Translation”, the white paper is accessible online.
16 June 2016:
CNBP’s Macquarie University node was pleased to host a full day multi-nodal CNBP workshop on Thu 16th June, 2016.
Centre researchers (from Macquarie University, The University of Adelaide and RMIT University) participated in the workshop activity with a number of informative talks undertaken – all based on current CNBP research and more specifically on nanoparticle–biomolecule conjugation and real world applications. Topics covered included upconversion nanoparticles, nanodiamonds, nanorubies, magnetic nanoparticles, graphene quantum dots, fluorescent chemical probes, protein corona’s and imaging technologies.
Separating out the talks were two group discussion panels – the first examining materials, bioconjugation and applications – the second, looking at the application of CNBP technologies in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. Dialogue and data captured during these sessions, showed clear advancement in both CNBP science and activity, as well as exciting plans for the future.
The final talk of the day was provided by new CNBP Investigator and University of Adelaide Chair of BioPhotonics, Prof. Robert McLaughlin, who gave an entertaining and informative talk on “Survival skills for researchers: papers, collaborations and grants.”
Drinks and networking concluded a highly successful event.
Below – CNBP Associate Investigator Dr Bing Yang Shi discusses his work on upconversion nanoparticles.
14 June 2016:
“It was all about effective communication and engaging meaningfully with your target audience,” summarised CNBP researcher Dr Malcolm Purdey who has just completed the ‘Fresh Science‘ training program, in Adelaide, South Australia.
An annual program, ‘Fresh Science’ comprises a day of media and communication training for early career researchers, helping turn them into ‘spokespeople for science’. Day two of the program is a community event, where the researchers are able to present and discuss their work to interested members of the public.
This year, the training was undertaken at the South Australian Museum, followed by a ‘Pub Night’ at the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide where Malcolm got the chance to talk about ‘Sensors for Healthier Hearts and Babies.’
In Malcolm’s own words, “Fresh science was an excellent way to learn more about science communication. Not only did we talk to journalists from TV, radio and print media, but we were able to practice being interviewed about our research.”
“We also talked with representatives from Industry – a fantastic and helpful contrast to the media, where we learned how to pitch what we were doing to potential investors, including both government and private investors. This was all topped off with a public presentation in a pub, with a time limit of a lit sparkler in our hand.”
Concluded Malcolm, “It was fantastic to be able to talk to so many people at once about my research during ‘Pub Night’, with this leading to questions from the audience and even some really touching one-on one conversations with audience members at the end of the event. It was a fantastic program, and I could not recommend it more highly to those wanting to expand their science communication skills!”
Below – Malcolm practicing his interview skills at ‘Fresh Science’.
10 June 2016:
CNBP and Macquarie University researchers have successfully developed a novel indirect universal detection reagent that rapidly labels antibodies with luminescence within seconds and without the need for any complicated bioconjugation procedures. The reagent, reported in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’, can be used to directly label antibodies for several time-gated luminescence applications, e.g., bioimaging, cell labeling and detection, and flow cytometry.
The work was co-authored by CNBP researchers Dr Andrew Care and Dr Nima Sayyadi and led by CNBP Associate Investigator Dr Anwar Sunna.
Pictured (top left) – giardia cyst cells labeled with europium chelate.
Publication title: A Novel Universal Detection Agent for Time-Gated Luminescence Bioimaging
Authors: Nima Sayyadi and Andrew Care ( first co-authors), Russell E. Connally, Andrew C. Try, Peter L. Bergquist and Anwar Sunna
Luminescent lanthanide chelates have been used to label antibodies in time-gated luminescence (TGL) bioimaging. However, it is a challenging task to label directly an antibody with lanthanide-binding ligands and achieve control of the target ligand/protein ratios whilst ensuring that affinity and avidity of the antibody remain uncompromised. We report the development of a new indirect detection reagent to label antibodies with detectable luminescence that circumvents this problem by labelling available lysine residues in the linker portion of the recombinant fusion protein Linker-Protein G (LPG). Succinimide-activated lanthanide chelating ligands were attached to lysine residues in LPG and Protein G (without Linker) and the resulting Luminescence-Activating (LA-) conjugates were compared for total incorporation and conjugation efficiency. A higher and more efficient incorporation of ligands at three different molar ratios was observed for LPG and this effect was attributed to the presence of eight readily available lysine residues in the linker region of LPG. These Luminescence-Activating (LA-) complexes were subsequently shown to impart luminescence (upon formation of europium(III) complexes) to cell-specific antibodies within seconds and without the need for any complicated bioconjugation procedures. The potential of this technology was demonstrated by direct labelling of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in TGL bioimaging.
The paper is available online.