A team of CNBP researchers have published a new paper discussing the design and application of a micro fabricated needle-like probe to measure hydrogen peroxide. This new microfluidic tool has applications for monitoring dynamic chemical reactions in analytical chemistry and biological systems.
Authors: Shilun Feng, Sandhya Clement, Yonggang Zhu, Ewa M. Goldys and David W. Inglis
Abstract: A microfabricated needle-like probe has been designed and applied for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sampling and detection using a commercial, single-step fluorescent H2O2 assay. In this work, droplets of the assay reagent are generated and sent to the needle tip using a mineral-oil carrier fluid. At the needle tip, the sample is drawn into the device through 100 mm long hydrophilic capillaries by negative pressure. The sampled fluid is immediately merged with the assay droplet and carried away to mix and react, producing a sequence of droplets representing the H2O2 concentration as a function of time. We have characterized the assay fluorescence for small variations in the sample volume. With the calibration, we can calculate the concentration of H2O2 in the sampled liquid from the size and intensity of each merged droplet. This is a microfluidic data-logger system for on-site continuous sampling, controlled reaction, signal storage and on-line quantitative detection. It is a useful tool for monitoring dynamic chemical reactions in analytical chemistry and biological applications.
Abstract: Performing multiplex detection is still an elusive goal for molecular diagnostics. CRISPR/Cas-based biosensing has demonstrated potential for multiplex detection. Instead of being an insurmountable obstacle, CRISPR/Cas multiplexed biosensing is a realistic challenge with some recent successful applications. Strategic considerations are required to fully explore its potential in multiplex diagnostics.
CNBP researchers Dr Georgina Sylvia and Dr Erin Smith (in conjunction with Children’s University Adelaide) have taken their love of science to the public, demonstrating fun-filled experiments to budding young scientists at a ‘pop-up’ event titled ‘The Magic and Wonder of Science’. The event took place as part of the biennial ‘Dream Big Children’s Festival’, held in South Australia, May-June, 2019.
Attendees at the ‘pop-up’ outreach event saw science working in practice as well as real-life applications of differing scientific elements.
“We demonstrated numerous experiments to our audience including creating ‘Elephant’s Toothpaste’. This is a foamy substance caused by the rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide,” says Georgina.
“Other experiments included a demonstration of atmospheric pressure with a jar of water, as well as the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze an everyday egg in a fry-pan. We wanted to inspire our young audience and to open their minds to the everyday science that exists all around them,” she says.
“Our show aimed to be a blend of entertainment and education with plenty of humor and laughs as well.”
Below – Erin and Georgina putting on their scientific show!
CNBP AI at Macquarie University and Early Career Fellow at the Cancer Institute NSW, Dr Andrew Care, has presented his research to a packed house at a ‘Pint of Science’ public outreach and engagement event, 20th May 2019.
Held at the Nags Head Hotel, Glebe, Sydney, Dr Care talked about the latest in cancer research with a particular focus on a newly discovered class of biologically-derived nanoparticles (protein nanocages), and how they can be genetically-engineered to target and destroy tumours.
“Taking my science out to the public was great fun,” he says. “But more importantly it was a good opportunity to highlight that positive advances we are making in the fight against disease thanks to ongoing research investment in Australia,” he said.
Dr Care added, “I checked out Pint of Science for the first time last year. I saw a great talk by Dr Orazio Vittorio a cancer biologist from Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. After a chat at the pub about our research, we started a collaboration. A year later Orazio and I are developing an exciting new tool for cancer treatment! Together, we’ve also obtained research funding, and we’re about to file a patent and to publish our first paper together. None of this would have possible without Pint!”
“Talking at Pint of Science this year is my way of giving back and saying thanks for making a great collaboration happen…and maybe to find another awesome collaborator lurking in the pub again,” he concludes.
Dr Care’s research group combines techniques from synthetic biology and nanomedicine for the targeted treatment of cancer. More information on his exciting work can be found in his profile here.
Below – Dr Care presenting his research at Pint of Science, Sydney 2019.
Authors: Yi Li, Shiyuan Li, Jin Wang and Guozhen Liu.
Abstract: Beyond its remarkable genome editing ability, the CRISPR/Cas9 effector has also been utilized in biosensing applications. The recent discovery of the collateral RNA cleavage activity of the Cas13a effector has sparked even greater interest in developing novel biosensing technologies for nucleic acid detection and promised significant advances in CRISPR diagnostics. Now, along with the discovery of Cas12 collateral cleavage activities on single stranded DNA (ssDNA), several CRISPR/Cas systems have been established for detecting various targets, including bacteria, viruses, cancer mutations, and
others. Based on key Cas effectors, we provide a detailed classification of CRISPR/Cas biosensing systems and propose their future utility. As the field continues to mature, CRISPR/Cas systems have the potential to become promising candidates for next-generation diagnostic biosensing platforms.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) has announced today that Griffith University has become a collaborating partner and will host a CNBP research node at its Institute for Glycomics on the Southport, Gold Coast campus.
As a research node and collaborating partner of the CNBP, Griffith University joins the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and RMIT University as a core member of the Centre of Excellence.
The Griffith based CNBP research node, headed-up by Associate Professor Daniel Kolarich (pictured top left) from the University’s ‘Institute for Glycomics’, will add to CNBP’s research capability in the development of next-generation light-based tools that can sense and image at a cellular and molecular level.
“Our team has specialised glycan knowledge and expertise that will aid the Centre in its objectives of improving understanding and knowledge of cell-communication and the nanoscale molecular interactions in the living body,” says A/Prof Kolarich.
Mark Hutchinson, CNBP Director and Professor at the University of Adelaide welcomed Griffith University as a new partner to the Centre.
“A/Prof Kolarich and his team are world-class scientists with exceptional knowledge and skills in glycomics. They have state-of-the-art facilities and will add significantly to CNBP’s investigative strength, helping us to achieve the highest levels of research excellence,” he says.
For further information, a media release is available online from the CNBP web site.
Below – Formalities are completed with the handover of the CNBP partnership plaque at the Institute for Glycomics.
CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort has shone a light on biophotonics, microcirculation, medical device development and a career in science to an audience of 35 Yr 9-10 high school students, at an outreach session at Macquarie University, May 10th, 2018.
The students, attending the University as a part of a ‘career-ready’ day, were given a quick tutorial on blood and light and were then given a hands-on demonstration of a clinical microcirculation imager that was able to provide a real-time view of red blood cells circulating in capillaries under the tongue.
Students were then given a brief history of the imager’s development and then asked how they could potentially improve a mark-two version of the device from a biological, physics, engineering, IT and software perspective. This explained Dr Nadort was the sort of critical thinking required to kick-start a career in medical device design and development; and the skills that could be learnt from undertaking higher education study.
Feedback from the students was extremely positive. Half a dozen students tried the imager under their own tongues. Seeing the body’s cells operate in real-time on a large screen proved insightful and engaging to all in the room.
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort explains to students how we can use light to see blood using innovative new tools and techniques.
Prof Mark Hutchinson has hosted a visit to the University of Adelaide and CNBP Headquarters of His Excellency Mr Pedro Zwahlen, Ambassador of Switzerland to Australia.
The visit from the Ambassador was a part of a four day trip to Adelaide which included visits to the Tonsley Innovation Precinct, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, various South Australian Government Departments, as well as meetings with the Honourable Jack Snelling MP and the Honourable Zoe Bettison MP.
As a part of the Ambassador’s visit to the University of Adelaide, Prof Hutchinson discussed CNBP science activity, the power of light to measure in the body, and provided a walk-through tour of the Centre’s laboratories.
Below – Prof Mark Hutchinson left, with His Excellency Mr Pedro Zwahlen.
Team ‘Life Whisperers’, composed of CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide, Melanie McDowall and Jonathan Hall, together with their mentor Michelle Perugini have won first prize in both the Medical Innovations and Research Commercialisation categories of the ‘Australian eChallenge’ competition.
Run by the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at the University of Adelaide, the eChallenge is a competition based learning experience that develops strategic business thinking for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures. Participants pitch their venture concepts to potential investors from the local business community. This year it attracted 152 teams across a number of categories.
The successful ‘Life Whisperers’ team proposed and pitched to judges, a new non-invasive diagnostic product to help improve embryo selection and ultimately improve positive IVF outcomes. In winning both categories, the team won $20,000 ($10,000 per category) with the money able to be used to help support future startup activity.
Below – Entrepreneur Steven Fang presents Jonathan and Mel with one of their winning cheques.
The CNBP has officially launched an international research partnership with the University Health Network (Toronto) following a successful event, undertaken at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on the 30th May 2016.
The partnership broadens the potential for research collaboration between the CNBP and the UHN as well as strengthens the current links and ties that already exist between the two organisations.
According to CNBP Director, Prof Mark Hutchinson, highlights from the day included an all day science workshop featuring plenty of opportunities for brainstorming between the teams researchers, as well as the identification of immediate opportunities for materials and sample sharing.
“Formalizing the partnership between the CNBP and the UHN makes perfect sense and will provide both organisations with improved opportunities and expertise in the undertaking of leading edge biophotonics research”, said Hutchinson.
Below, the formal handover of the CNBP partner plaque by CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson (far right) to UHN’s Prof Brian Wilson (second right).