30 November 2016:
Exciting translational work by CNBP researchers (project leader Dr Erik Schartner pictured left) has resulted in the development of an optical fibre probe that distinguishes breast cancer tissue from normal tissue – potentially allowing surgeons to be much more precise when removing breast cancer. The work has just been reported in the journal ‘Cancer Research’ and is accessible online.
Journal: Cancer Research.
Title: Cancer Detection in Human Tissue Samples Using a Fiber-Tip pH Probe.
Authors: Erik P. Schartner, Matthew R. Henderson, Malcolm Purdey, Deepak Dhatrak, Tanya M. Monro, P. Grantley Gill and David F. Callen.
Intraoperative detection of tumorous tissue is an important unresolved issue for cancer surgery. Difficulty in differentiating between tissue types commonly results in the requirement for additional surgeries to excise unremoved cancer tissue or alternatively in the removal of excess amounts of healthy tissue. Although pathologic methods exist to determine tissue type during surgery, these methods can compromise postoperative pathology, have a lag of minutes to hours before the surgeon receives the results of the tissue analysis, and are restricted to excised tissue. In this work, we report the development of an optical fiber probe that could potentially find use as an aid for margin detection during surgery. A fluorophore-doped polymer coating is deposited on the tip of an optical fiber, which can then be used to record the pH by monitoring the emission spectra from this dye. By measuring the tissue pH and comparing with the values from regular tissue, the tissue type can be determined quickly and accurately. The use of a novel lift-and-measure technique allows for these measurements to be performed without influence from the inherent autofluorescence that commonly affects fluorescence-based measurements on biological samples. The probe developed here shows strong potential for use during surgery, as the probe design can be readily adapted to a low-cost portable configuration, which could find use in the operating theater. Use of this probe in surgery either on excised or in vivo tissue has the potential to improve success rates for complete removal of cancers.
30 November 2016:
CNBP Research Fellows, Associate Professor Guozhen Liu (pictured), Dr Lindsay Parker and Dr Sabrina Heng have undertaken talks at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne as part of a Biosensor Symposium, Wednesday 30th November, 2016.
Talks were as follows:
Guozhen Liu – Biophotonic Tools for Cytokine Sensing: From an on-cell surface ELISA to a spatial ELISA device.
Lindsay Parker – Biosensors and glycoproteins: linking nanoscience to neuroscience.
Sabrina Heng – Reversible Sensing with a Flip of the Switch.
The symposium shone a spotlight on multidisciplinary research into developing, applying and using biosensors for biomedical sciences.
29 November 2016:
CNBP researchers (lead author Jingxian Yu pictured), have published a paper exploring the quantum interference effects on electronic transport in peptides. The work has just been reported in the journal ‘Molecular Systems Design & Engineering’ and is accessible online.
Journal: Molecular Systems Design & Engineering.
Title: Exploiting the interplay of quantum interference and backbone rigidity on electronic transport in peptides: A step towards bio-inspired quantum interferometers.
Authors: Jingxian Yu, John R Horsley and Andrew D Abell.
Abstract: Electron transfer in peptides provides an opportunity to mimic nature for applications in bio-inspired molecular electronics. However, quantum interference effects, which become significant at the molecular level, have yet to be addressed in this context. Electrochemical and theoretical studies are reported on a series of cyclic and linear peptides of both β-strand and helical conformation, to address this shortfall and further realize the potential of peptides in molecular electronics. The introduction of a side-bridge into the peptides provides both additional rigidity to the backbone, and an alternative pathway for electron transport. Electronic transport studies reveal an interplay between quantum interference and vibrational fluctuations. We utilize these findings to demonstrate two distinctive peptide-based quantum interferometers, one exploiting the tunable effects of quantum interference (β-strand) and the other regulating the interplay between the two phenomena (310-helix).
29 November 2016:
CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys has given a talk at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga on her research success “A Eureka Moment for Cell Colour Technology.”
The talk results from Prof Goldys being awarded the recent Australian Museum Eureka Prize for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.
Prof Goldys, together with Dr Martin Gosnell, developed a hyperspectral imaging technique that allows for the successful extraction of specific biomolecular information hidden in fluorescent colour signatures of living cells and tissues.
The talk examined the technology and the real world translational outcomes that will result from this exciting area of study that will support clinicians in making improved diagnosis and health decisions for patients.
28 November 2016:
CNBP welcomes its newest PhD student at Macquarie University – Fei Deng.
Fei is undertaking his PhD study on the development of a biosensor for cytokine testing and is being supervised by Centre Deputy Director Professor Ewa Goldys and A/Prof Guozhen Liu.
Fei gained his Master’s Degree this year at the Korea University of Technology and Education (the Department of Chemical Engineering) with his Bachelor Degree undertaken at Tianjin Polytechnic University (within the Department of Material Science and Engineering).
His research interests lie in the field of device design and biosensor materials synthesis, especially related to cytokines. And his background is primarily in materials science and engineering.
Great to have you on board Fei!
25 November 2016:
Professor Ewa Goldys, Deputy Director of the CNBP, has given an invited talk at the Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Invited Lecture series, 25th November 2016, Sydney.
The talk was titled “A Eureka moment for cell colour technology” and explored the research behind Prof Goldys and her success in being awarded the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.
Professor Goldys and her team were recognised for their innovative colour-focused research (and pioneering hyperspectral imaging technique), able to distinguish between healthy and diseased cells, in areas as diverse as embryology, neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes.
Real-world translational outcomes that will result from this exciting area of study, that will support clinicians in making improved diagnosis and health decisions for patients, was also discussed.
The NeuRA lecture series attracts leading national and international researchers from all fields of neuroscience.
24 November 2016:
In this latest paper, CNBP researchers (lead author Wei Deng pictured left) developed PLGA nanocomposites by incorporating a photosensitizer, verteporfin and gold nanoparticles into the polymeric matrix and utilised them for enhanced photodynamic therapy of cancer cells.
Journal: RSC Advances.
Title: PLGA nanocomposites loaded with verteporfin and gold nanoparticles for enhanced photodynamic therapy of cancer cells.
Authors: Wei Deng, Zofia Kautzka, Wenjie Chen and Ewa M Goldys.
Abstract: In this paper, PLGA nanocomposites were developed by incorporating a photosensitizer, verteporfin and gold nanoparticles into the polymeric matrix and utilised for enhanced photodynamic therapy of cancer cells. Both enhanced fluorescence and O2 generation from verteporfin were observed in this new formulation under both 425 nm LED and 405 nm laser illumination. A maximum enhancement factor of 2.5 for fluorescence and 1.84 for O2 generation was obtained when the molar ratio of gold : VP was 5:1 and excited at 425 nm, compared with PLGA doped with verteporfin alone. The experiment results could be explained by the local electric field enhancement of gold nanoparticles. Furthermore, improved therapeutic efficacy in human pancreatic cancer cells, PANC-1, was also demonstrated by using this new formulation following light exposure, indicating the utility of these nanocomposites for enhanced photodynamic therapy.
The paper is accessible online.
24 November 2016:
The Macquarie University node of CNBP welcomes PhD student Fang Gao to the team.
Fang is undertaking her PhD on real-time sensing for cytokines and is being supervised by Center Deputy Director Prof. Ewa Goldys and Centre Research Fellow A/Prof. Guozhen Liu.
Fang’s research interests lie in the field of fluorescent sensing of biomolecules and biological imaging. Her background is primarily in Analytical Chemistry and Material Science.
Prior to joining Macquarie University, Fang completed her Master of Medicine in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the South-Central University for Nationalities, China. She worked under the guidance of A/Prof. Dan Zhao, where she synthesized a series of novel water-soluble quantum dots and conducted a chiral sensing for tyrosine enantiomers.
Her career goal in the near future is to help construct a device which can detect cytokines in vivo in real time.
23 November 2016:
Centre personnel, laboratories and microscopes were on display at Macquarie University, Wednesday November 23rd, as guests from industry partner Olympus Australia took time out of their busy schedules to visit and to explore the latest in imaging developments taking place at the CNBP.
Hosted by CNBP node leader Prof Jim Piper and CNBP Associate Investigator Dr Yiqing Lu, Olympus Australia’s Kim Everuss (Sales Manager, MIS), Jian Shen (Marketing Manager, MIS), Chunsong Yan (Customer Experience Service Manager) and Clare Kelly (Product Manager specialising in confocal microscopy) were shown the latest in CNBP research, spoke with CNBP researchers and actively inspected tools and techniques related to the Centre’s luminescence related microscopy activity. Of particular focus was Centre work on a ‘plug and play’ time-gated imaging module that could be easily linked to current Olympus microscope setups.
Presentations from CNBP researchers also took place during the visit, outlining biological applications including biomedical diagnostics and drug delivery and leading edge research in the biology of pain.
Prof Jim Piper noted that the visit further cemented the fantastic relationship between the two organisations and that he looked forward to working closely with Olympus Australia with a view to facilitating industry-research benefits for both parties.
Below – CNBP Associate Investigator Dr Yiqing Lu explains the technology involved in the innovative time-gated imaging module.
22 November 2016:
Failure to launch: aberrant cumulus gene expression during oocyte in vitro maturation
Hannah M Brown, Kylie R Dunning, Melanie Sutton-McDowall, Robert B Gilchrist,
Jeremy G Thompson and Darryl L Russell
In vitro maturation (IVM) offers significant benefits for human infertility treatment and animal breeding, but this potential is yet to be
fully realised due to reduced oocyte developmental competence in comparison with in vivo matured oocytes. Cumulus cells occupy
an essential position in determining oocyte developmental competence. Here we have examined the areas of deficient gene
expression, as determined within microarrays primarily from cumulus cells of mouse COCs, but also other species, between in vivo
matured and in vitro matured oocytes. By retrospectively analysing the literature, directed by focussing on downregulated genes, we
provide an insight as to why the in vitro cumulus cells fail to support full oocyte potential and dissect molecular pathways that have
important roles in oocyte competence. We conclude that the roles of epidermal growth factor signalling, the expanded extracellular
matrix, cumulus cell metabolism and the immune system are critical deficiencies in cumulus cells of IVM COCs.