Tag Archives: Robert McLaughlin

New ‘smart needle’ to make brain surgery safer

20 January 2017:

A new high-tech medical device to make brain surgery safer has been developed by researchers at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics located at the University of Adelaide.

Led by CNBP Investigator Professor Robert McLaughlin (pictured), the tiny imaging probe, encased within a brain biopsy needle, lets surgeons ‘see’ at-risk blood vessels as they insert the needle, allowing them to avoid causing bleeds that can potentially be fatal.

Over the past six months, the “smart needle” has been used in a pilot trial with 12 patients undergoing neurosurgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.

Today, Education and Training Minister Senator Simon Birmingham, was shown the high tech needle and the laboratory where it was developed at a special event at the University of Adelaide.

“This smart biopsy device is an outstanding example of how our investment in research can translate into real benefits for industries and ultimately for Australians,” Minister Birmingham said.

A press release related to this activity can be viewed online, as can a YouTube video detailing  this innovative translational research.

Below – CNBP Director Professor Mark Hutchinson (left) and CNBP Investigator Professor  Robert McLaughlin (second right) look on as Senator Simon Birmingham (centre) explores the ‘smart needle device’.


CNBP researchers get commercialisation grants

19 December 2016:

CNBP researchers Prof Rob McLaughlin (pictured) and Dr Erik Schartner, have received funding for their research activity through the University of Adelaide’s Commercial Accelerator Scheme.

Through CAS, the University contributes up to $400,000 each year in cash to research projects with a commercial application. The funding is provided for proof of concept and early commercialisation activities, to promote translational research for impact, and greater industry engagement.

Funding details follow below, with additional information available online.

Smart needles for safer and more effective brain surgery
$80,000 awarded to Professor Rob McLaughlin (Adelaide School of Medicine and ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics )
A novel miniaturised imaging probe, so small that it can be encased within a hypodermic needle for use in neurosurgery, enables safer and more effective brain biopsies. Having already progressed this product to initial human in vivo studies, this high-tech medical device is ready to go through the regulatory pathways. If commercialised, it could service an estimated $200m market, creating new employment opportunities in South Australia, and better neurosurgery outcomes globally.

Cancer cell detector
$80,000 awarded to Dr Erik Schartner (School of Physical Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics)
With 15-20% of breast cancer surgery patients requiring additional surgery to further remove tumorous tissue, there is a need for improved surgical practices that can also provide enhanced cosmetic outcomes. This technology offers a novel detection tool using optical fibre sensors that will differentiate between cancerous and normal tissues based on pH levels, to provide specific, real-time information to surgeons.


Investigation of optical coherence microelastography as a method to visualize micro-architecture in human axillary lymph nodes

9 November 2016:

Investigation of optical coherence microelastography as a method to visualize micro-architecture in human axillary lymph nodes;
Kelsey M. Kennedy, Lixin Chin, Philip Wijesinghe, Robert A. McLaughlin, Bruce Latham, David D. Sampson, Christobel M. Saunders and Brendan F. Kennedy
BMC Cancer; DOI 10.1186/s12885-016-2911-z.
9 Nov


Welcome Prof Robert McLaughlin

Robert McLaughlin_update10 May 2016:

We’re extremely happy to welcome Professor Robert McLaughlin to the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP).

As the new Chair of BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide and Investigator for the  CNBP, Robert has a strong and proven track record in imaging research, successful research funding, as well as in team management and leadership.

A world-leader in the development of the ‘microscope-in-a-needle’ technology, Robert’s expertise has been in successfully miniaturising fibre-optic probes encased within a hypodermic needle. These probes have then been able  to be inserted deep into the body to acquire fluorescence and optical coherence tomography images.

Said CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson, “Robert will be exploring novel applications and deployment of fibre sensing and fibre imaging across the three biological challenges of the CNBP. He and his team will bring a wealth of experimental, computational and practical skills that compliment the range of expertise already existing within the Centre. In addition, Robert’s experience in translational productisation and commercialisation will add to the existing momentum of industry and commercial engagement from the CNBP.”

Welcome to the team Robert!