13 July 2015:
From the 28th of June to the 3rd of July, Dr Georgios Tsiminis and Dr Erik Schartner from the Adelaide node of the CNBP visited the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, Germany, as part of a longer trip that also included oral presentations at the CLEO Europe 2015 International Conference and company visits throughout Germany.
The two CNBP members gave a seminar to the Fiber Optics work on their recent work on comparing different fluorescence optical fibre sensors (Dr Tsiminis) and on optical fibre thermometry for in vivo applications (Dr Schartner), followed by a lab tour of the IPHT fibre fabrication facility and measurement laboratories. They also met up with another CNBP researcher, Dr Herbert Foo, who is on a long-term visit in Jena working on advanced glass-making.
The rest of this long-term visit was spent working at the laboratory of Prof. Dr Juergen Popp, IPHT, a world-renowned expert of Raman spectroscopy for sensing applications. Dr Tsiminis and Dr Schartner worked with with Dr Christian Matthaeus and Dr Sebastian Dochow from the Raman group. Their work involved gaining hands-on experience with some of the optical fibre Raman probes developed within the group and their deployment for in vivo and ex vivo measurements.
Initial experiments were conducted in bacon cuts, highlighting the difference between fat tissue and red meat in terms of their respective Raman spectra, with fat tissue showing the typical lipid Raman signature that was absent in the collagen-rich red meat part of the sample.
Further experiments were then performed inside a sample of rabbit aorta (preserved in formalin) that enabled the monitoring of fat concentration along the length of the aorta, allowing the pinpointing of areas were fat accumulates inside the blood vessel and therefore locations of possible blood narrowing, a big concern for heart disease.
The CNBP researchers also visited the Schott Glas Museum and got an overview of the early stages of high quality and precision glass making, as well as the Optischen Museum Jena, featuring the history of optic technologies through the ages.
Overall this was a very successful and enjoyeable visit to IPHT in Jena that produced the first parts of shared work and expertise with the CNBP collaborators led by Prof. Dr Juergen Popp. This initial work and fruitful discussions set the base for a future collaborative work project on using Raman spectroscopy to monitor cardiovascular health and we look forward to welcoming some of our IPHT colleagues at the CNBP retreat in November.
Image: Researchers in front of the IPHT building in Jena, Germany. From left to right: Dr Georgios Tsiminis (CNBP), Dr Herbert Foo (CNBP), Dr Erik Schartner (CNBP), Dr Stephen Warren-Smith (IPHT), Prof. Dr Hartmut Bartelt (IPHT) and Dr Linh Nguyen (IPAS).