Monthly Archives: February 2017

Automation in the IVF laboratory

23 February 2017:

CNBP Chief Investigator A/Prof Jeremy Thompson has delivered a talk to the “Best of ASRM-ESHRE” forum, in Paris, February 23, 2017.

The forum, a joint initiative of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) brings together 1200 delegates focused in the science of reproductive medicine, with updates on the latest concepts and developments presented in a framework of lectures, debates and back-to-back sessions.

A/Prof Thompson’s well received talk was titled, “Automation in the IVF Laboratory – what works and what hasn’t.”

New nanoparticle discovery to aid super-resolution imaging

23 February 2017:

Our researchers and collaborators have made a breakthrough in the development of practical super-resolution optical microscopy that will pave the way for the detailed study of live cells and organisms, on a scale 10 times smaller than can currently be achieved  with conventional microscopy.

Reported in Nature, it was demonstrated that bright luminescent nanoparticles can be switched on and off using a low-power infrared laser beam, and used to achieve images with a super resolution of 28nm (about 1/36 the wavelength of light).

Find out more by accessing the paper online.

Journal: Nature

Title: Amplified stimulated emission in upconversion nanoparticles for super-resolution nanoscopy.

Authors: Yujia Liu, Yiqing Lu, Xusan Yang, Xianlin Zheng, Shihui Wen, Fan Wang, Xavier Vidal, Jiangbo Zhao, Deming Liu, Zhiguang Zhou, Chenshuo Ma, Jiajia Zhou, James A. Piper, Peng Xi & Dayong Jin.


Dictionary-enhanced imaging cytometry

22 February 2017:

A new paper by CNBP researcher Tony Orth (lead author pictured) describes how to use large image sets to perform cell classification and imaging performance. The work combines years of hardware development on a high throughput microlens microscope together with large scale image processing.

The authors on the paper found that they could get a computer to accurately identify white blood cells types purely from a reference set of images (or dictionary), without resorting to time-consuming manual classification by trained staff.

Moreover, the authors demonstrated that because white blood cells come in a limited number of shapes and sizes, even a very poor quality noisy image of a white blood cell can be effectively enhanced by looking for similar images in the dictionary set.

This has potential applications for low-light level imaging. Working with a small amount of light is detrimental in terms of image quality but gentle on cells. The author’s dictionary-based method provides a way to partially recover image quality for dose-limited imaging.

The paper is accessible online.

Dictionary-enhanced imaging cytometry. Antony Orth, Diane Schaak and Ethan Schonbrun. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 43148 (2017).

OCT probe talks

12 February 2017:

Dr Jiawen Li, CNBP researcher, has given a number of invited talks, on her ongoing work with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fiber-optic needle probes.

Her talks were focused on addressing the penetration-depth limitation of optical imaging through the development of miniaturised fibre-optic probes that may be inserted deep into the body.

Representative technologies and their ex vivo and in vivo applications were presented by Jiawen at both the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) as well as at Polytechnic Montreal.

She saw great value in both visits, noting:

“I first visited the Wellman Center for Photomedicine (Feb 6th-7th), where I gave a talk, and met with Dr. Melissa Suter and Prof. Brett Bouma and their postdoctoral teams. Researchers there also gave me a tour of their laboratories. They showed me prototypes that they had made for clinical applications and shared with me their insights as to how to achieve successful and enhance efficient collaborations with clinicians. Attendees at my talk were very interested in our work on smart needles for safer and more effective brain surgery and on fabricating miniaturized lenses by the 3D printer at CNBP RMIT node, a project that is supported by a CNBP travel grant. Potential future collaborations were also explored.”

“At Polytechnic Montreal (Feb 8th-10th), I met with A/Prof. Caroline Boudoux, a collaborator on our fluorescence-OCT project, as well as postdoctoral researchers of A/Prof. Frederic Leblond. I visited both A/Prof. Leblond’s laboratory and A/Prof. Boudoux’s spin-out company Castor Optics. A technical meeting was held, where we discussed solutions to overcoming technical challenges in our current design. This visit strengthened our existing collaboration.”

A busy time for Jiawen, she also managed to fit in an oral presentation at the SPIE Photonics West 2017 Conference on January 28th , 2017. Her presentation was titled, “Flexible OCT needle probes for image-guided endoscopic tissue aspiration.”


Hyperspectral unmixing methodology validated

Aziz Rehman10 February 2017:

A new publication from CNBP researchers Aziz Ul Rehman (pictured), Ayad Anwer, Martin Gosnell, Saabah Mahbub, Guozhen Liu and Ewa Goldys demonstrates the validation of an innovative hyperspectral unmixing methodology, that can derive chemical information from cell colour.

The work has just been reported in the journal ‘Biomedical Optics Express’ and is accessible online.

Journal: Biomedical Optics Express.

Title: Fluorescence quenching of free and bound NADH in HeLa cells determined by hyperspectral imaging and unmixing of cell autofluorescence.

Authors: Aziz Ul Rehman, Ayad G. Anwer, Martin E. Gosnell, Saabah B. Mahbub, Guozhen Liu, and Ewa M. Goldys.

Abstract: Carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoro methoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) is a well-known mitochondrial uncoupling agent. We examined FCCP-induced fluorescence quenching of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide / nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) in solution and in cultured HeLa cells in a wide range of FCCP concentrations from 50 to 1000µM. A non-invasive label-free method of hyperspectral imaging of cell autofluorescence combined with unsupervised unmixing was used to separately isolate the emissions of free and bound NAD(P)H from cell autofluorescence. Hyperspectral image analysis of FCCP-treated HeLa cells confirms that this agent selectively quenches fluorescence of free and bound NAD(P)H in a broad range of concentrations. This is confirmed by the measurements of average NAD/NADH and NADP/NADPH content in cells. FCCP quenching of free NAD(P)H in cells and in solution is found to be similar, but quenching of bound NAD(P)H in cells is attenuated compared to solution quenching possibly due to a contribution from the metabolic and/or antioxidant response in cells. Chemical quenching of NAD(P)H fluorescence by FCCP validates the results of unsupervised unmixing of cell autofluorescence.

Gold-loaded liposomes with photosensitizers for PDT

2 February 2017:

A new publication from CNBP researchers Wei Deng (pictured), Sandhya Clement and Ewa Goldys indicates that gold-loaded liposomes incorporating photosensitizers may serve as improved agents in photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy. The work has just been reported in the International Journal of Nanomedicine and is accessible online.

Journal: International Journal of Nanomedicine.

Title: Light-triggered liposomal cargo delivery platform incorporating photosensitizers and gold nanoparticles for enhanced singlet oxygen generation and increased cytotoxicity

Authors: Zofia Kautzka, Sandhya Clement, Ewa M Goldys and Wei Deng.

Abstract: We developed light-triggered liposomes incorporating 3–5 nm hydrophobic gold
nanoparticles and Rose Bengal (RB), a well-known photosensitizer used for photodynamic
therapy. Singlet oxygen generated by these liposomes with 532 nm light illumination was
characterized for varying the molar ratio of lipids and gold nanoparticles while keeping
the amount of RB constant. Gold nanoparticles were found to enhance the singlet oxygen
generation rate, with a maximum enhancement factor of 1.75 obtained for the molar ratio of hydrogenated soy l-α-phosphatidylcholine:1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-hosphoethanolamineN-(hexanoylamine): gold of 57:5:17 compared with liposomes loaded with RB alone. The experimental results could be explained by the local electric field enhancement caused by gold nanoparticles. We further assessed cellular cytotoxicity of gold-loaded liposomes by encapsulating an antitumor drug, doxorubicin (Dox); such Dox-loaded liposomes were applied to human colorectal cancer cells (HCT116) and exposed to light. Gold-loaded liposomes containing RB and Dox where Dox release was triggered by light were found to exhibit higher cytotoxicity compared with the liposomes loaded with RB and Dox alone. Our results indicate that goldloaded liposomes incorporating photosensitizers may serve as improved agents in photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy.