Monthly Archives: January 2017

New Masters student

31 January 2017:

We welcome new Masters student Weikun Huang (pictured left) to the CNBP team at the University of Adelaide.

Weikun’s project aims to design and construct multiplexing microstructured optical fibre to quantify the concentration of metal ions (K+, Ca2+) and glucose. This paving the way for the monitoring of dynamic changes in extracellular and intracellular K+ and Ca2+ concentrations in real time and potentially establishing a new therapeutic strategy for type 2 diabetes.

CNBP Investigator Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem noted that Weikun’s project closley supported CNBP research in developing new sensors to answer important biological questions.

Weikun graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Jilin University, China. As an undergraduate in veterinary medicine, he looked into the development of inflammatory response during fatty liver and subacute rumen acidosis, applying a series of biomedical techniques.

Welcome to the team Weikun!

 

Grant success

30 January 2017:

CNBP researchers at Macquarie University – Research Fellow Lindsay Parker (pictured left) and A/Prof Andrei Zvyagin have been successful as Chief Investigators on a $100,000 Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block Grant.

The grant will support a research assistant (Anna Guller, CNBP PhD candidate) to help build capacity in and use Macquarie University’s bioreactor equipment towards the production and maintenance of live bioartificial tissues for sustainable scientific use.

The CNBP researchers will be collaborating with the University’s Faculty of Medicine to use these artificial biotissues in order to assess nanoparticle detection capabilities/depths in complex tissue structures.

Lead CI on the grant is Professor Qian Yi in the Faculty of Medicine.

New ‘smart needle’ to make brain surgery safer

20 January 2017:

A new high-tech medical device to make brain surgery safer has been developed by researchers at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics located at the University of Adelaide.

Led by CNBP Investigator Professor Robert McLaughlin (pictured), the tiny imaging probe, encased within a brain biopsy needle, lets surgeons ‘see’ at-risk blood vessels as they insert the needle, allowing them to avoid causing bleeds that can potentially be fatal.

Over the past six months, the “smart needle” has been used in a pilot trial with 12 patients undergoing neurosurgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.

Today, Education and Training Minister Senator Simon Birmingham, was shown the high tech needle and the laboratory where it was developed at a special event at the University of Adelaide.

“This smart biopsy device is an outstanding example of how our investment in research can translate into real benefits for industries and ultimately for Australians,” Minister Birmingham said.

A press release related to this activity can be viewed online, as can a YouTube video detailing  this innovative translational research.

Below – CNBP Director Professor Mark Hutchinson (left) and CNBP Investigator Professor  Robert McLaughlin (second right) look on as Senator Simon Birmingham (centre) explores the ‘smart needle device’.

 

Science ‘Experience Day’ at RMIT

18 January 2017:

Researchers at CNBP’s RMIT University node were busy doing light-based demonstrations on Wednesday Jan 18th, as part of the ‘RMIT University Experience Day’ program, whereby students from years 10, 11 and 12 get to engage in hands-on workshops and explore life on campus while experiencing the differing aspects of University discipline areas.

As part of the ‘experience’ activity, over seventy high school students (predominantly in Year 10) visited the CNBP researchers in their physics laboratories. While there, students were given an overview of biophotonic science as well as laboratory research, and shown the exciting things that can be done with light including 3D scanning, fluorescence microscopy and more.

Below – CNBP researcher Philipp Reineck talks and demonstrates photonics to students.

 

 

 

Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy

4 January 2017:

CNBP researchers (Liuen Liang pictured), report on the deployment of upconversion nanoparticles to enhance the treatment depth of the fluorescent protein KillerRed in photodynamic therapy.

The work was published in the journal ‘Acta Biomaterialia’ and is accessible online.

Journal: Acta Biomaterialia.

Title: Deep-penetrating photodynamic therapy with KillerRed mediated by upconversion nanoparticles.

Authors: Liuen Liang, Yiqing Lu, Run Zhang, Andrew Care, Tiago A. Orteg, Sergey M. Deyev, Yi Qian, Andrei V. Zvyagina.

Abstract: The fluorescent protein KillerRed, a new type of biological photosensitizer, is considered as a promising substitute for current synthetic photosensitizes used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, broad application of this photosensitiser in treating deep-seated lesions is challenging due to the limited tissue penetration of the excitation light with the wavelength falling in the visible spectral range. To overcome this challenge, we employ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) that are able to convert deep-penetrating near infrared (NIR) light to green light to excite KillerRed locally, followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumour cells under centimetre-thick tissue. The photosensitizing bio-nanohybrids, KillerRed-UCNPs, are fabricated through covalent conjugation of KillerRed and UCNPs. The resulting KillerRed-UCNPs exhibit excellent colloidal stability in biological buffers and low cytotoxicity in the dark. Cross-comparison between the conventional KillerRed and UCNP-mediated KillerRed PDT demonstrated superiority of KillerRed-UCNPs photosensitizing by NIR irradiation, manifested by the fact that ∼70% PDT efficacy was achieved at 1-cm tissue depth, whereas that of the conventional KillerRed dropped to ∼7%.