CNBP Associate Investigators Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino (University of Adelaide) and Dr Andrew Care (Macquarie University) together with CNBP Director Prof. Mark Hutchinson have been awarded a highly competitive Research Grant by the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation. The funds will help the team to work on pioneering a novel nanotechnology that will look to prevent the spread of Parkinson’s Disease throughout the human brain.
CNBP Associate Investigators Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino (University of Adelaide) and Dr Andrew Care (Macquarie University), together with CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson have been awarded a highly competitive Research Gift by the Australian Brain Foundation.
The funds granted will help the team to develop a new technique that aims to prevent the spread of Parkinson’s Disease in the human brain.
Below: Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino and Dr Care accept their Research Award (with Prof Hutchinson in absentia).
A new review paper has been published in the journal ‘Genes’ featuring two CNBP Associate Investigators as co-authors, Dr Andrew Care (Cancer Institute NSW) and Dr Anwar Sunna (Macquarie University).
Titled, ‘Bioengineering Strategies for Protein-based Nanoparticles’, the paper focuses on the tools available to custom-engineer protein-based nanoparticles for different applications, including those in nanomedicine and biotechnology.
First author of the paper, and co-supervised by Dr Care and Dr Sunna is Ms Dennis Diaz (pictured left in photo).
Publication title: Bioengineering Strategies for Protein-Based Nanoparticles.
Authors: Dennis Diaz, Andrew Care and Anwar Sunna.
Abstract: In recent years, the practical application of protein-based nanoparticles (PNPs) has expanded rapidly into areas like drug delivery, vaccine development, and biocatalysis. PNPs possess unique features that make them attractive as potential platforms for a variety of nanobiotechnological applications. They self-assemble from multiple protein subunits into hollow monodisperse structures; they are highly stable, biocompatible, and biodegradable; and their external components and encapsulation properties can be readily manipulated by chemical or genetic strategies. Moreover, their complex and perfect symmetry have motivated researchers to mimic their properties in order to create de novo protein assemblies. This review focuses on recent advances in the bioengineering and bioconjugation of PNPs and the implementation of synthetic biology concepts to exploit and enhance PNP’s intrinsic properties and to impart them with novel functionalities.
It has been formally announced that Dr Andrew Care, former CNBP Research Fellow and now Centre Associate Investigator, has been awarded a 2018 Early Career Fellowship from the Cancer Institute New South Wales (CINSW) to fund the research project, ‘Biological nanoparticles for the targeted delivery and light-triggered release of drugs’.
This project aims to develop novel protein nanocages for the targeted co-delivery and controlled release of therapeutics in the multimodal treatment of cancer.
In addition, PhD Candidate Ms Dennis Diaz, who is part of the team working on this exciting project, was recently awarded a Research Scholarship Award from the translational cancer research centre, Sydney Vital.
Dennis is working under the supervision of Dr Andrew Care and A/Prof. Anwar Sunna (also a CNBP Associate Investigator).
Further information on the CINSW and its recent grants announcement is available here.
A new book edited by A/Prof Anwar Sunna (CNBP Associate Investigator), Dr Andrew Care (CNBP Research Fellow) and Peter Bergquist (Macquarie University) as been published by Springer.
The book, “Peptides and Peptide-based Biomaterials and their Biomedical Applications”, highlights new developments in the applications of peptide and peptide-based biomaterials in biomedicine.
“This is a fast-moving and rapidly expanding research area, which promises to be one of the most significant fields of research in applied biomedicine”, says A/Prof Sunna.
“The work introduces readers to direct applications and translational research at the interface between materials science, protein chemistry and biomedicine.”
The study on “Solid-binding peptides for immobilization of thermostable enzymes to hydrolyze biomass polysaccharides” by CNBP Researcher Dr Andrew Care and led by CNBP Associate Investigator A/Prof Anwar Sunna has been featured on Renewable Energy Global Innovations as a key scientific paper.
The work was originally published in the scientific journal Biotechnology for Biofuels (February, 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.”
Below – MP Adam Bandt and CNBP’s Dr Andrew Care.
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%.
CNBP and Macquarie University researchers have successfully developed a novel indirect universal detection reagent that rapidly labels antibodies with luminescence within seconds and without the need for any complicated bioconjugation procedures. The reagent, reported in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’, can be used to directly label antibodies for several time-gated luminescence applications, e.g., bioimaging, cell labeling and detection, and flow cytometry.
The work was co-authored by CNBP researchers Dr Andrew Care and Dr Nima Sayyadi and led by CNBP Associate Investigator Dr Anwar Sunna.
Pictured (top left) – giardia cyst cells labeled with europium chelate.
Publication title: A Novel Universal Detection Agent for Time-Gated Luminescence Bioimaging
Authors: Nima Sayyadi and Andrew Care ( first co-authors), Russell E. Connally, Andrew C. Try, Peter L. Bergquist and Anwar Sunna
Luminescent lanthanide chelates have been used to label antibodies in time-gated luminescence (TGL) bioimaging. However, it is a challenging task to label directly an antibody with lanthanide-binding ligands and achieve control of the target ligand/protein ratios whilst ensuring that affinity and avidity of the antibody remain uncompromised. We report the development of a new indirect detection reagent to label antibodies with detectable luminescence that circumvents this problem by labelling available lysine residues in the linker portion of the recombinant fusion protein Linker-Protein G (LPG). Succinimide-activated lanthanide chelating ligands were attached to lysine residues in LPG and Protein G (without Linker) and the resulting Luminescence-Activating (LA-) conjugates were compared for total incorporation and conjugation efficiency. A higher and more efficient incorporation of ligands at three different molar ratios was observed for LPG and this effect was attributed to the presence of eight readily available lysine residues in the linker region of LPG. These Luminescence-Activating (LA-) complexes were subsequently shown to impart luminescence (upon formation of europium(III) complexes) to cell-specific antibodies within seconds and without the need for any complicated bioconjugation procedures. The potential of this technology was demonstrated by direct labelling of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in TGL bioimaging.
The paper is available online.
Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem (CNBP Investigator), Dr Lindsay Parker (CNBP Research Fellow) and Dr Andrew Care (CNBP Research Fellow) spoke at the US-Australia Enabling Technologies Technical Exchange Meeting 2016 at UNSW in Sydney on 23-24 May 2016.
Heike’s talk was: “Pushing the Limits in Glass Properties and Structures for Laser, Sensing and Nonlinearity Applications.”
Lindsay’s talk was: “Illuminating mRNA and proteins in new ways with nanoparticles and chemical conjugates.”
Andrew’s talk was: “Developing a platform technology for the self-assembly of functional nanoparticles.”
The purpose of the Technical Exchange is to explore and potentially develop new areas of basic research collaboration between Australian and US participants.
Additional meeting information is available online.