30 November 2016:
Exciting translational work by CNBP researchers (project leader Dr Erik Schartner pictured left) has resulted in the development of an optical fibre probe that distinguishes breast cancer tissue from normal tissue – potentially allowing surgeons to be much more precise when removing breast cancer. The work has just been reported in the journal ‘Cancer Research’ and is accessible online.
Journal: Cancer Research.
Title: Cancer Detection in Human Tissue Samples Using a Fiber-Tip pH Probe.
Authors: Erik P. Schartner, Matthew R. Henderson, Malcolm Purdey, Deepak Dhatrak, Tanya M. Monro, P. Grantley Gill and David F. Callen.
Intraoperative detection of tumorous tissue is an important unresolved issue for cancer surgery. Difficulty in differentiating between tissue types commonly results in the requirement for additional surgeries to excise unremoved cancer tissue or alternatively in the removal of excess amounts of healthy tissue. Although pathologic methods exist to determine tissue type during surgery, these methods can compromise postoperative pathology, have a lag of minutes to hours before the surgeon receives the results of the tissue analysis, and are restricted to excised tissue. In this work, we report the development of an optical fiber probe that could potentially find use as an aid for margin detection during surgery. A fluorophore-doped polymer coating is deposited on the tip of an optical fiber, which can then be used to record the pH by monitoring the emission spectra from this dye. By measuring the tissue pH and comparing with the values from regular tissue, the tissue type can be determined quickly and accurately. The use of a novel lift-and-measure technique allows for these measurements to be performed without influence from the inherent autofluorescence that commonly affects fluorescence-based measurements on biological samples. The probe developed here shows strong potential for use during surgery, as the probe design can be readily adapted to a low-cost portable configuration, which could find use in the operating theater. Use of this probe in surgery either on excised or in vivo tissue has the potential to improve success rates for complete removal of cancers.
24 September 2016:
Scope TV takes a look at the latest and greatest in scientific advancements and explores what’s up and coming in the wonderful world of science.
CNBP researcher Dr Malcolm Purdey features in the latest episode of Scope, discussing light based sensing and explaining how innovative optical technologies are opening up exciting new windows into the body.
Click to the 5.20 minute mark to see Malcolm and his science communication in action!
14 June 2016:
“It was all about effective communication and engaging meaningfully with your target audience,” summarised CNBP researcher Dr Malcolm Purdey who has just completed the ‘Fresh Science‘ training program, in Adelaide, South Australia.
An annual program, ‘Fresh Science’ comprises a day of media and communication training for early career researchers, helping turn them into ‘spokespeople for science’. Day two of the program is a community event, where the researchers are able to present and discuss their work to interested members of the public.
This year, the training was undertaken at the South Australian Museum, followed by a ‘Pub Night’ at the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide where Malcolm got the chance to talk about ‘Sensors for Healthier Hearts and Babies.’
In Malcolm’s own words, “Fresh science was an excellent way to learn more about science communication. Not only did we talk to journalists from TV, radio and print media, but we were able to practice being interviewed about our research.”
“We also talked with representatives from Industry – a fantastic and helpful contrast to the media, where we learned how to pitch what we were doing to potential investors, including both government and private investors. This was all topped off with a public presentation in a pub, with a time limit of a lit sparkler in our hand.”
Concluded Malcolm, “It was fantastic to be able to talk to so many people at once about my research during ‘Pub Night’, with this leading to questions from the audience and even some really touching one-on one conversations with audience members at the end of the event. It was a fantastic program, and I could not recommend it more highly to those wanting to expand their science communication skills!”
Below – Malcolm practicing his interview skills at ‘Fresh Science’.
27 May 2016:
Research Associate Malcolm Purdey has presented a science poster at the Biosensors Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden (May 27th 2016). The poster was titled, “Optical fibre probes for hydrogen peroxide and pH in reproductive health.”
He has also given CNBP focused talks at the University of Lund, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and Nanyang Polytechnic (Singapore).
Malcolm’s first talk at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore was given to a group of first year students (several students reaching their final year at the Polytechnic have gone on to undertake 3-month placements with the CNBP “Recognise” team in Adelaide).
Malcolm also met with Prof. Katarina Svanberg (from the CNBP International Scientific Committee) at Lund University and gave a presentation to the Medical Laser Centre group in the Department of Physics.
Following this, he also met with some collaborators at the University of Copenhagen, and gave a presentation in the Department of Chemistry.
Malcolm’s talks were titled: “Fluorescent Sensors for BioPhotonics.”
29 January 2016:
CNBP researchers featured prominently in the recent ‘Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) Best Papers’ competition.
The awards, presented in January 2016, aim to showcase the quality and impact of the research being conducted by IPAS members.
Winners for the best ECR led Paper were Abel Santos, Agnieszka Zuber and CNBP Research Fellow Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang.
The best PhD Student Led Paper Awards went to CNBP student Malcolm Purdey, Parul Mittal and Tess Reynolds.
The Best Transdisciplinary Paper with a Strong Medical/Animal Science Element went to CNBP senior researcher Melanie McDowall.
Full details on the awards, all of the winners and their papers can be found at the IPAS web site.
6 January, 2016:
The tricky process of monitoring early-stage embryos during the IVF process could become much easier with the development of a new fibre-optic sensor that can measure concurrently, hydrogen peroxide and pH (acidity-alkalinity concentrations) in solution.
The sensor, the first of its kind, was reported in the research journal ‘Sensors’ and consists of a single optical fibre, the tip of which has been functionalised with a reactive fluorescent coating.
Lead author on the paper, CNBP researcher Malcolm Purdey was interviewed by ABC News Radio and featured in other media including the Daily Examiner and BioOptics World.
17 December 2015:
CNBP researcher Malcolm Purdey is lead author on a new paper published in the Journal Sensors. The paper reports the first single optical fibre tip probe for concurrent detection of both hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration and pH of a solution.
The paper is titled “A Dual Sensor for pH and Hydrogen Peroxide Using Polymer-Coated Optical Fibre Tips” and is fully accessible online.
A CNBP media release on this research finding is also available from the CNBP web site.
24 August 2015:
Nanoscale biosensing in reproductive medicine was the theme of a CNBP symposium at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology for 2015.
CNBP speakers included Prof. Mark Hutchinson, Prof. Ewa Goldys and A/Prof Brant Gibson who presented the concepts/applications of their CNBP work, followed by presentations specifically related to reproduction by Dr Erik Schartner, Mr Malcolm Purdy and Dr Sabrina Heng.
Title talks were as follows:
Mark Hutchinson: New windows into the body.
Ewa Goldys: Through the looking glass: what can we see in the early embryo when we look carefully enough.
Brant Gibson: Nanodiamond for BioPhotonic and Hybrid-Photonic applications.
Sabrina Heng: Microstructured Optical Fibers and Photoswitches: Light-Driven Sensors for
Metal Ions in Biology.
Erik Schartner: Development of optical fibre probes for biosensing applications.
Malcolm S Purdey: A Non-invasive Sensor for Hydrogen Peroxide and pH.
Further information on the meeting is available online.