Category Archives: UA

CNBP engages with Shanxi Province

26 March 2017:

CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson has showcased CNBP science to the Vice Governor of Shanxi Province together with his Heads of Departments (Agriculture, Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs) who were visiting the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Government on March 26th, 2017.

The visit, a result of the University of Adelaide and its seven year relationship with the Province, sees the University undertaking increasing work there, with both industry and Government, primarily in the areas of agriculture and functional food.

It is likely that CNBP products and the potential of the Centre will be further demonstrated in May, when  a delegation from South Australia will go to Shanxi Province to engage with industry.

CNBP talks to the pollies at SmP

24 March 2017:

A chance to talk science with Australian politicians and policy influencers was an opportunity seized by CNBP with Centre Investigator Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Centre Research Fellow Dr Andrew Care both in attendance at the annual ‘Science meets Parliament’ (SmP) event, Canberra, 21-22 March, 2017.

Established by Science and Technology Australia, SmP provides 200 scientists with a unique professional development opportunity to get a clear sense of the competing rationalities of science, politics and public policy. The two-day gathering also includes a day at Parliament House, where delegates get the chance to meet privately with parliamentarians.

As part of this activity, Prof Ebendorff-Heidepriem met with Senator Chris Back and Senator Chris Ketter, and also spoke with Shadow Minister of Defence, Richard Marles. In addition, she spoke with many researchers and entrepreneurs from both the University and industry sectors.

“Improving collaboration between the research community and industry was a hot topic in many of the discussions that I had”, said Heike. “Particularly in my meeting with Senator Chris Back. People were also extremely excited about our approach, in using fibres and light to create exciting new windows into the body.”

CNBP’s Dr Andrew Care met with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s advisor, discussing gender equality and early education for STEM and also touching on ECR opportunities and improving research and industry ties. He also met MP Adam Bandt, the Greens spokesperson for science.

“Overall it was an extremely rewarding experience,” says Andrew. “Attending SmP gave me the opportunity to explore the political process and to network with many other researchers from academia, industry, and governance. It was fantastic to see science and innovation so high on the government’s agenda.”

A full round up from both days of SmP can be found on the STA web site – Day 1 and Day 2.

Below – MP Adam Bandt and CNBP’s Dr Andrew Care.

 

New PhD candidate Patrick Capon

21 March 2017:

CNBP welcomes its latest PhD candidate Patrick Capon who is working on fluorophore-nanodiamond hybrid sensors at the University of Adelaide.

Patrick has previously gained a BSc Degree (advanced – double chemistry major) from Adelaide University which was subsequently followed by a Master of Philosophy (chemistry) also at Adelaide University – his thesis entitled, “Incorporation of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes and their Precursors into Metal-Organic Frameworks.”

Supervised by CNBP Chief Investigator Prof. Andrew Abell, Patrick will be working largely within the CNBP Recognise Theme but also undertaking collaborations with the Discover Theme focused on the use of fluorophore-nanodiamond hybrid sensors to detect relevant reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species.

Other collaboration activity will include work with CNBP Biological Challenge Leader Prof. Stephen Nicholls and his team, as well as with Illuminate Theme Leader Associate Prof. Brant Gibson and researcher Dr. Phillip Reineck.

Currently a recipient of the Norman and Patricia Polglase Scholarship, Patrick has also just been awarded the prestigous MF & MH Joyner Scholarship in Science from the University of Adelaide.

Welcome to the CNBP team Patrick!

New PhD student Kathryn Palasis

14 March 2017:

CNBP is happy to announce its newest PhD student Kathryn Palasis who is located at the University of Adelaide.

Kathryn who was was recently selected as the 2017 recipient of the Cedric Stanton Hicks Research Scholarship, will be working on switchable molecules and their applications in medicinal chemistry – with a particular emphasis on the design of photoswitchable protease inhibitors and the development of hypoxia-sensitive sensors and probes.

Graduating from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Double Chemistry Major) Kathryn previously won the G. M. Badger Prize for best weighted overall performance in courses of Level III Chemistry. This was followed by an Honours degree, also from Adelaide University where her thesis was titled “Synthesis and Activity of Switchable Azobenzene-Based Proteasome Inhibitors.”

As a PhD student, Kathryn will be working with her supervisor Prof Andrew Abell (CNBP Chief Investigator) on synthesising photoswitches of biological activity. She will also be collaborating with CNBP Investigator Robert McLaughlin (and his work on optical probes) and also Jeremy Thompson, CNBP Chief Investigator (and his work in the ‘Spark of Life’ theme).

Welcome to the CNBP team Kathryn!

Generating whispering gallery mode spectra

9 March 2017:

A new publication from CNBP researchers (lead author Jonathan Hall pictured) presents a new model for generating whispering gallery mode spectra for multilayer microspheres.

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

Journal: Optics Express.

Title: Unified theory of whispering gallery multilayer microspheres with single dipole or active layer sources.

Authors: Jonathan M. M. Hall, Tess Reynolds, Matthew R. Henderson, Nicolas Riesen, Tanya M. Monro, and Shahraam Afshar.

Abstract: The development of a fast and reliable whispering gallery mode (WGM) simulator capable of generating spectra that are comparable with experiment is an important step forward for designing microresonators. We present a new model for generating WGM spectra for multilayer microspheres, which allows for an arbitrary number of concentric dielectric layers, and any number of embedded dipole sources or uniform distributions of dipole sources to be modeled. The mode excitation methods model embedded nanoparticles, or fluorescent dye coatings, from which normalized power spectra with accurate representation of the mode coupling efficiencies can be derived. In each case, the emitted power is expressed conveniently as a function of wavelength, with minimal computational load. The model makes use of the transfer-matrix approach, incorporating improvements to its stability, resulting in a reliable, general set of formulae for calculating whispering gallery mode spectra. In the specific cases of the dielectric microsphere and the single-layer coated microsphere, our model simplifies to confirmed formulae in the literature.

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.”

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.”

 

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!

 

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’.