A smart brain biopsy needle for faster and safer neurosurgery has received $1 million from the Australian Government’s BioMedTech Horizons program, operated by MTPConnect.
Exploring the nooks and crannies of the body’s organs seems fodder for a sci-fi movie. Yet, an international team of researchers and engineers has made this a reality — and it’s set to change the way we see human diseases. Continue reading
It’s not often that medical studies into better brain surgery can end up leading to lamb roasts that are a cut above. But that’s what research by Prof Robert McLaughlin‘s team at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) is doing.
‘I was telling Meat & Livestock Australia that we had this tiny camera in a needle that is great at seeing fat in tissue, but there aren’t many diseases where this is useful. And they got really excited,’ he said. ‘It turns out that the single biggest indicator of quality in lamb meat is the percentage of fat.’ Continue reading
CNBP has officially welcomed UNSW, one of the world’s leaders at translational engineering research, as its newest node.
In addition to the official open by UNSW Engineering Dean Professor Mark Hoffman, CNPB Director Professor Mark Hutchinson took the opportunity to lay out the CNBP mission and its accomplishments at an industry showcase. Continue reading
Researchers from CNBP and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, together with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and University of Western Australia collaborators, have demonstrated the potential of an ‘imaging needle’ for reducing the risk of dangerous brain bleeds in patients undergoing brain biopsy. In the journal Science Advances, the researchers describe how a tiny imaging needle can detect blood vessels with a very high degree of accuracy (91.2% sensitivity and 97.7% specificity). Pictured is corresponding author of the paper CNBP Investigator Prof Robert McLaughlin, University of Adelaide.
Journal: Science Advances.
Authors: Hari Ramakonar, Bryden C. Quirk, Rodney W. Kirk, Jiawen Li, Angela Jacques, Christopher R. P. Lind and Robert A. McLaughlin.
Abstract: Intracranial hemorrhage can be a devastating complication associated with needle biopsies of the brain. Hemorrhage can occur to vessels located adjacent to the biopsy needle as tissue is aspirated into the needle and removed. No intraoperative technology exists to reliably identify blood vessels that are at risk of damage. To address this problem, we developed an “imaging needle” that can visualize nearby blood vessels in real time. The imaging needle contains a miniaturized optical coherence tomography probe that allows differentiation of blood flow and tissue. In 11 patients, we were able to intraoperatively detect blood vessels (diameter, >500 μm) with a sensitivity of 91.2% and a specificity of 97.7%. This is the first reported use of an optical coherence tomography needle probe in human brain in vivo. These results suggest that imaging needles may serve as a valuable tool in a range of neurosurgical needle interventions.
The CNBP spin-out company Miniprobes and its development of an inexpensive handheld scanner that can undertake microscopic analysis of surfaces has featured as a ‘success story’ as a part of the AUSInnovates campaign.
The handheld imaging device is able to accurately measure the thickness of surface coatings applied to products – often less than a tenth of a millimetre in thickness.
“We’re exploring two major international markets,” explained Dr McLaughlin, Miniprobes Managing Director.
“Our scanheads can examine metal parts in microscopic detail, and that’s important for industrial manufacturers working to fine tolerances, such as in the car and aerospace industries.”
“Another important application is in controlling the absorption rate of drugs, which is achieved by coating the drug with a thin chemical layer. Our device enables precise measurement of these layers by pharmaceutical manufacturers.”
The AUSinnovates campaign celebrates successful Australian commercialisation and is championed by gemaker, research-industry engagement and commercialisation specialists.
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.
As silver sponsor at the annual STA ‘Science meets Business’ event held in Sydney, November 9th 2017, CNBP was extremely well represented, supporting a push to improve engagement and collaboration between the research sector and Australian industry.
In addition to having numerous Centre scientists in attendance – those with a strong interest and focus on commercialisation and translation of research, CNBP also had senior personnel speak and present in a variety of capacities.
This included CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson (pictured top left), who together with Andrew Grant (Availer) discussed CNBP’s commercialisation success and the taking of ideas from ‘boom to the showroom.’ Deep dive (idea creation), value-add solutions, solving pain points and interesting new jobs were all touched upon in a quick fire exchange of views.
Additionally, Centre Investigator and Miniprobes founder Prof Robert McLaughlin participated in the ‘soapbox sesssion’ where three competitively-selected ‘soapbox leaders’ made compelling pitches, sparking robust discussion as they quizzed delegates for perspectives on new ideas to create useful collaboration.
“It was great to be at this years ‘Science meets Business’, bringing CNBP science and innovation to industry and learnings back again,” concluded Prof Hutchinson. “I look forward to hearing about other successful collaborations at next year’s STA event.”
A new high-tech medical device to make brain surgery safer has been developed by CNBP researchers at the University of Adelaide.
Prof Robert McLaughlin (pictured), leader of the project, was featured in Science Daily, stating, “”We call it a smart needle. It contains a tiny fibre-optic camera, the size of a human hair, shining infrared light to see the vessels before the needle can damage them.”
You can read the full story here.
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.
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’.