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.
The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced funding for a super-resolution imaging facility that will be the first of its kind in Australia.
The facility brings together a consortium of multidisciplinary researchers from leading Australian Universities, Institutes and Research Centres (including CNBP) to develop new capacities for materials science, photonics devices, engineering, and neuroscience, microbial and cardiovascular research.
At its core the A$3.0m ARC LIEF project will enable scientists to study the inner workings of cells in their native environment. This represents a step change from currently imaging isolated 2D cells cultured in a petri dish to future research that will reveal subcellular structures and cell-to-cell communications in 3D tissue in real time.
The National Volumetric Imaging Platform, as it is known, will be installed, maintained and operated by the Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices (IBMD) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at RMIT University in Melbourne. This project is scheduled to be completed in late 2019.
UTS Professor Dayong Jin, Lead Chief Investigator of the project, said that the facility will give scientists a “new way to decode the complexities of life science machinery.”
“High-resolution imaging of the large volume of single cells and functional navigation of their interactions will allow researchers to drop into a ‘street view’ and observe the details of intercellular ‘live traffic’,” he said.
Prof Brant Gibson, Co-Deputy Director and RMIT node director of CNBP said, “I am very excited to lead the RMIT University node of the National Volumetric Imaging Facility and to work in collaboration with Jin Dayong, the UTS node and all of our collaborative institutional partners. This facility will enable us to image deeper within biological samples than we ever been able to before, with nanoscale resolution and extraordinary bandwidth stretching from the near-UV (400nm) well into the infrared (1650nm) spectrum.”
Prof Mark Hutchison, Professor at the Adelaide Medical School and Director of the CNBP at the University of Adelaide said, “This is an exciting development of advanced imaging infrastructure capacity that will allow a convergence of scientists from across the country to gain an unprecedented level of molecular insights into the complex systems and arrangement of cells in biologically relevant complex 3 dimensional environments.”
Participating Organisations include: Universities: University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, University of Wollongong, University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, The University of Adelaide.
Institutes and Centres: Institute for Biomedical and Materials Devices, ARC Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels, Institute for Molecular Horizons, the Heart Research Institute, ithree Institute, Centre for Translational Neuroscience, Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.
CNBP science and it’s translation into exciting new commercial ventures was on show at the ‘Science meets Business’ event held in Brisbane, October 11th, 2018.
The event, coordinated by STA, brought national and international corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors together with Australian research and commercialisation pioneers, to help advance activity in the science and translation space.
First CNBP’er to present at the event was Chief Investigator Prof Jeremy Thompson who shared his amazing startup story in establishing the business ‘ART Lab Solutions’. The venture uses advanced reproductive technologies to accelerate the improvement of livestock quality.
Next up was the CNBP inspired start-up ‘MEQ Probe‘. Featuring presenters CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson, Jordy Kitschke (CEO of MEQ Probe) and Susan McDonald (Managing Director of Super Butcher), all three discussed elements of the innovative start-up that offers industry an advanced spectral analysis tool that can objectively measure the quality of meat.
“MEQ is a story of success for the CNBP in bringing science together with business to solve a multi-billion dollar problem of objective meat quality measurement and assessment,” said Prof Hutchinson. “At CNBP we have made a conscious decision to actively solve real-world pain points, and engage entrepreneurs to turn amazing research into companies, of which MEQ Probe is an excellent example.”
A/Prof. Daniel Kolarich, CNBP Chief Investigator at Griffith University who also attended the event noted that, “Science meets Business impressively showed that translation does not necessarily correlate with the initial intention of the innovation – that the sky really is the limit when it comes to maximising return from research.”
Below: Smiles from the MEQ Probe team having completed their case study to an active and interested audience at ‘Science meets Business’.
A new paper with CNBP co-authors Prof Mark Hutchinson, Prof Ewa Goldys and Dr Guozhen Liu demonstrates an amperometric sensing device based on graphene oxide (GO) and structure-switching aptamers for long-term detection of cytokines in a living organism.
Journal: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Authors: Chaomin Cao, Ronghua Jin, Hui Wei, Wenchao Yang, Ewa M. Goldys, Mark R. Hutchinson, Shiyu Liu, Xin Chen, Guangfu Yang, and Guozhen Liu.
Abstract: Cytokine sensing is challenging due to their typically low abundances in physiological conditions. Nanomaterial fabricated interfaces demonstrated unique advantages in ultrasensitive sensing. Here, we demonstrate an amperometric sensing device based on graphene oxide (GO) and structure-switching aptamers for long-term detection of cytokines in a living organism. The device incorporates a single layer of GO acting as a signal amplifier on glassy carbon electrodes. The hairpin aptamers specific to interferon-γ (IFN-γ), which were loaded with redox probes, are covalently attached to GO to serve as biorecognition moieties. IFN-γ was able to trigger the configuration change of aptamers while releasing the trapped redox probes to introduce the electrochemical signal. This in vivo device was capable of quantitatively and dynamically detecting IFN-γ down to 1.3 pg mL–1 secreted by immune cells in cell culture medium with no baseline drift even at a high concentration of other nonspecific proteins. The biocompatible devices were also implanted into subcutaneous tissue of enteritis mice, where they performed precise detection of IFN-γ over 48 h without using physical barriers or active drift correction algorithms. Moreover, the device could be reused even after multiple rounds of regeneration of the sensing interface.
In exciting grant funding news, ARC Future Fellowships were recently awarded to the following CNBP researchers:
Prof Mark Hutchinson (CNBP Director, pictured) – University of Adelaide. Measuring pain in livestock: mechanisms, objective biomarkers and treatments.
Dr Ivan Maksymov (CNBP Researcher Fellow) – RMIT University. Nonlinear optical effects with low-power non-laser light.
Dr Steven Wiederman (CNBP Associate Investigator) – University of Adelaide. From insects to robots: how brains make predictions and ignore distractions.
The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. Each Future Fellow recipient will receive salary and on-cost support for four years, and up to $50,000 in additional funding per year for other essential costs directly related to their project.
Congratulations to all Fellowship recipients who will now be able to further develop and advance their innovative areas of research! Further information on Fellowship projects are available from the ARC web site.
New research from South Australian scientists has shown that vitamin D (also commonly known as the sunshine vitamin) is unlikely to protect individuals from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or other brain-related disorders.
The findings, released today in the science journal ‘Nutritional Neuroscience’ reported that researchers had failed to find solid clinical evidence for vitamin D as a protective neurological agent.
“Our work counters an emerging belief held in some quarters suggesting that higher levels of vitamin D can impact positively on brain health,” says lead author Krystal Iacopetta (pictured), PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide.
“The results of our in-depth review and an analysis of all the scientific literature indicates that there is no convincing evidence supporting vitamin D as a protective agent for the brain,” she says.
Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and Professor at the University of Adelaide worked with Ms Iacopetta on the research and findings.
“This outcome is important and is based on an extremely comprehensive review and analysis of current data and relevant scientific publications,” Professor Hutchinson says.
“We’ve broken a commonly held belief that vitamin D resulting from sun exposure is good for your brain.”
Interestingly, Professor Hutchinson notes that there may be evidence that UV light (sun exposure) could impact the brain beneficially, in ways other than that related to levels of vitamin D.
“There are some early studies that suggest that UV exposure could have a positive impact on some neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis,” he says. “We have presented critical evidence that UV light may impact molecular processes in the brain in a manner that has absolutely nothing to do with vitamin D.”
“We need to complete far more research in this area to fully understand what’s happening,” says Professor Hutchinson.
Read the full media release here.
Journal: Nutritional Neuroscience.
Authors: Krystal Iacopetta, Lyndsey E. Collins-Praino, Femke T. A. Buisman-Pijlman, Jiajun Liu, Amanda D. Hutchinson & Mark R. Hutchinson.
Australian neuroscientist and CNBP Director, Professor Mark Hutchinson who is developing a world-first blood test that identifies chronic pain by colour “biomarkers” is featured by NZ Doctor online. Prof Hutchinson believes that the breakthrough work has the potential to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment for the one in five people in Australia and New Zealand who suffer from chronic pain.
Professor Mark Hutchinson, the Director of the Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics, in the School of Medicine, at the University of Adelaide talked with Sonya Feldhoff, ABC Adelaide about fibromyalgia and what can be done to treat it.
The interview can be heard in its entirety on the ABC radio website.
CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson, The University of Adelaide has published a new review and commentary on the future of sensor development in the exciting new world of neuroimmunoscience!
Journal: Microelectronic Engineering.
Author: Mark R. Hutchinson.
Abstract: A great new frontier in biomedical science has recently been discovered that requires the attention of technologists from diverse backgrounds to equip scientists with the tools needed to explore this great uncharted area. This new expanding domain is the exploration of the neuroimmune cells of the central nervous system, and their real-time function and contributions to the health and disease of the brain and spinal cord. Glia, once thought of as mere structural supports for the brain, are now appreciated to actively contribute to brain function. However, the true complexity of this system is still hidden from close examination, owing to a range of technological and methodological limitations. Here, some of these opportunities and challenges are outlined to expose the micro and nanoengineering community to this dynamic area of research, and to encourage innovation and technology application in the research of the “other brain”.
Professor Sue Thomas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council (ARC) has visited CNBP laboratories at the University of Adelaide and gained first-hand experience of the exciting biophotonics science taking place there.
Shown around a number of laboratory spaces by CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson, Prof Thomas spent time examining the glass fabrication facilities used by the Centre as well as exploring more fully, the exciting ‘smart needle brain probe’ work headed-up by Prof Robert McLaughlin.
Other CNBP related activity included discussion with Centre researchers of industry relevant translational work currently being undertaken in the food and wine quality assessment area.
Prof Mark Hutchinson said of the visit , “It was fantastic to share with Prof Thomas how the breadth of our ARC funded CNBP fundamental science program is translating to industry projects and how this is leading to new leveraged funding and employment opportunities for our talented CNBP scientists.”
Below – ARC CEO Prof Sue Thomas is given a hands-on demonstration of a ‘smart needle’ probe for the brain by CNBP’s Prof Robert McLaughlin.