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Research Tuesdays Featuring Prof Rob McLaughlin

Rob McProfessor Rob McLaughlin will be part of the “Invented in Adelaide” discussion panel in the up and coming Research Tuesdays lecture.

Research Tuesdays are an initiative of the University of Adelaide, allowing the general public to hear about research happening within the university.

Rob McLaughlin leads the Bioengineering Imaging Group and is the Managing Director of Miniprobes. Miniprobes currently develop and sell miniaturised imaging probes that can be encased in hypodermic needles. One such devise is the smart needle, which can detect blood vessels during brain surgery, avoiding bleeds that can potentially be fatal. Pilot studies with the smart needle concluded at the start of this year, with promising results.

Research Tuesdays: Invented in Adelaide
5:30 pm 13th June, The Braggs Lecture Theatre

Presenters:
Professor Noel Lindsay, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Entrepreneurship) and Director of the University’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre at the University of Adelaide.

Kiara Bechta-Metti, Director, Adelaide Enterprise, the University of Adelaide’s innovation and research commercialisation accelerator.

Professor Robert McLaughlin, Chair of Biophotonics, Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Matthew Tetlow, Research Fellow for the School of Mechanical Engineering at the Universty of Adelaide.

Register via this link.

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Welcome Elodie and Mel

We have just finished the process of hiring and are pleased to announce that three new staff members are joining the IPAS team. 
 
elodie-janvier1IPAS Strategic Research Development Manager – Ms Elodie Janvier
The Strategic Research Development Manager is responsible for providing leadership and contribute to the ongoing research capacity development of IPAS. Elodie will ensure IPAS researchers target key programs and will coordinate pre- and post-award administration of competitive research grant applications and awards, manage the internal grant programs, including the IPAS Pilot Projects and Travel funding programs. She will take a leading role in the development of strategies and initiatives to enhance grant application quality and help the Institute and its researchers strengthen their external profile and demonstrate impact.
 
Prior to starting her career in Research Management, Elodie worked as a Scientist and Engineer for multinational Companies, Laboratories and Governmental Organisations in France and Germany. The combination of her experience in carrying out Research & Development projects in the academic, defence and industrial sectors, together with her expertise in Quality Management makes Elodie a perfect fit for IPAS. 
 
mel-mcdowallIPAS Grant Writer / Science Communicator – Dr Mel McDowall
Reporting to Elodie, Mel will work closely with Institute researchers under Elodie’s direction to ensure submission of grant applications and fellowship applications of high quality.   She will collate  and maintain the IPAS databases,  promote key funding streams, updates and other opportunities through the IPAS newsletter and work with the Marketing and Communication Branch and researchers to enhance knowledge of IPAS research members achievements. She will also assist in the design and marketing of IPAS events for external stakeholders.
Mel has a research background, spanning basic science, agriculture and medical sciences. She is also passionate about science communication and outreach and has written articles for numerous different websites such as “The Conversation” and “I Quit Sugar” and has been involved in public outreach campaigns for “Your Fertility” and “Science Meets Parliament”.


IPAS Project Manager – Starting 24 April 2017 – To be announced soon
The IPAS Project Manager will provide specialised project management for IPAS research projects secured with industry, government, and defence customers. The role will be customer facing and provide a critical communications conduit between clients and our research teams. The IPAS Project Manager will contribute to the development of masterplans, schedules and milestones for projects so that large research teams have an effective resource and expertise planning and are thus able to deliver on projects within budget and on time.  The IPAS Project Manager will  enhance the delivery of projects by interfacing with external parties and key stakeholders within the University. 

New optical fibre sensor to aid breast cancer surgery

An IPAS research team led by Dr Erik Schartner has developed 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 device could help prevent follow-up surgery, currently needed for 15-20% of breast cancer surgery patients where all the cancer is not removed.

Published today in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, and the Schools of Physical Sciences and Medicine, describe how the optical probe works by detecting the difference in pH between the two types of tissue. The research conducted with our partners Prof. Grantley Gill at with the Breast, Endocrine and Surgical Oncology Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Dr Deepak Dhatrak of SA Pathology and Prof David Callen, Director of the Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide. 

dr-erik-schartner

“We have designed and tested a fibre-tip pH probe that has very high sensitivity for differentiating between healthy and cancerous tissue with an extremely simple – so far experimental – setup that is fully portable,” says project leader Dr Erik Schartner, postdoctoral researcher at the CNBP at the University of Adelaide.

“Because it is cost-effective to do measurements in this manner compared to many other medical technologies, we see a clear scope for this technology in operating theaters.”

Current surgical techniques to remove cancer lack a reliable method to identify the tissue type during surgery, relying on the experience and judgement of the surgeon to decide on how much tissue to remove. Because of this, surgeons often perform ‘cavity shaving’, which can result in the removal of excessive healthy tissue. And at other times, some cancerous tissue will be left behind.

“This is quite traumatic to the patient, and has been shown to have long-term detrimental effects on the patient’s outcome,” Dr Schartner says.

The optical fibre probe uses the principle that cancer tissue has a more acidic environment than normal cells; they produce more lactic acid as a byproduct of their aggressive growth.

The pH indicator embedded in the tip of the optical probe emits a different colour of light depending on the acidity. A miniature spectrometer on the other end of the probe analyses the light and therefore the pH.

“How we see it working is the surgeon using the probe to test questionable tissue during surgery,” says Dr Schartner. “If the readout shows the tissues are cancerous, that can immediately be removed. Presently this normally falls to post-operative pathology, which could mean further surgery.

The researchers currently have a portable demonstration unit and are doing further testing. They hope to progress to clinical studies in the near future.

$14.7 million in grants to further drive innovative defence technologies

Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP today announced seven Australian organisations would receive Australian Government funding of $14.7 million to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies to enhance Defence capability, as part of the Government’s $1.6 billion investment in defence innovation.

https://www.pyneonline.com.au/media-centre/media-releases/147-million-in-grants-to-further-drive-innovative-defence-technologies

IPAS researchers Prof Andre Luiten, A/Prof John Hartnett and A/Prof Martin O’Connor are the research leaders of one of these projects. Their project is to develop Ultra-High Quality Signal Generation for Over the Horizon Radar. The project aims to upgrade the overall performance of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), through a performance upgrade of its essential sub-systems. This will improve overall detection of targets.

prof-andre-luiten-ctd

$4.5 million awarded for new research discoveries

IPAS researchers have today been awarded $4.5 million in federal funding for new research.

This included 4 Discovery Projects, 1 DECRA Fellowship, 1 Future Fellowship and 2 LIEF infrastructure grants led by IPAS members. 

Research Paper Summary by Dr Abel Santos

Realisation and advanced engineering of true optical rugate filters based on nanoporous anodic alumina by sinusoidal pulse anodisation

Optical rugate filters based on nanoporous anodic alumina are produced and precisely engineered by sinusoidal pulse anodisation (i.e. electrochemical oxidation) of aluminium foils. These photonic structures can be used for developing high throughput label-free molecular screening and sensing applications, encoding platforms of information as photonic tags and tracers and self-reporting drug releasing micro-sized containers.

Authors: Santos, A., Yoo, J.H., Rohatgi, C.V., Kumeria, T., Wang, Y., Losic, D.

Nanoscale, 8 (3), pp. 1360-1373 (2016)

santos-1-paper

Optic-fibre sensors enabling aircraft, ships to self-diagnose corrosion

Deputy Director

Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

The days of Australia’s defence forces routinely deconstructing major equipment to visually inspect for corrosion could soon be over, saving huge amounts of time and money, and possibly even lives.

In a world first, researchers at the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS), University of Adelaide have developed a unique form of optic fibre that can be coated with flurometric corrosion-sensing material—another world-first technique—and embedded throughout the critical structures of aircraft and ships.

Co-lead researcher and IPAS Deputy Director Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem says this means a fighter jet’s wings, for example, could be checked for the early signs of corrosion in a matter of seconds, with no deconstruction required, then be immediately returned to action.

“We’d been working on training light along tiny ‘nano-rail’ fibres threaded through liquids, structures or other mediums as detectors for several years,” says Heike.

“The light in the nano-rails isn’t contained, as it is in standard broadband-Internet optical fibres, but rather is guided along an exposed core, and can interact with surrounding materials to reveal their secrets.

“The Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) asked us to work collaboratively wit them to develop these fibres to detect corrosion in the harsh environments which Defence’s aircraft and ships are exposed to.”
According to Heike, the breakthrough came when co-lead researcher Roman Kostecki developed the world’s first exposed-core optic fibre made from silica.

“This made it sturdy enough for use outside the lab, and allowed us to start applying the technology to real-world problems.”

The team subsequently developed a unique method of coating the fibres with chemicals that respond when light comes into contact with any nearby corrosion by-products, enabling near-instant checks to be conducted by firing lasers along the fibres.

“We’ve already successfully checked for aluminium ions in aircraft-grade materials—the first time that’s ever been done with optical fibres—so we’re very excited to keep expanding the technique’s applications in conjunction with the DSTG.

“It has fantastic potential to create safer aircraft, ships, and even critical structures like bridges, which could ultimately contribute to saving lives.”

The technology has also led to new health-related research, says Heike, including in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) and water-safety applications.

Article from Research Impact, The University of Adelaide

Photographer: CPL Glen McCarthy

Photographer: CPL Glen McCarthy

Dr Mandy Leung awarded prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

Dr Mandy Leung has been awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to study micro- and nano-fluidics at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Mandy completed her PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of A/Prof Tak Kee in 2015. Congratulations to Mandy and we wish her all the very best in her upcoming fellowship.

Dr Mandy Leung

Dr Mandy Leung

 

IPAS Industry Networking Event – 16 March

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We held an Industry Networking event on Wednesday 16 March to provide key business connections and networking opportunities while showcasing research capabilities at IPAS.

The Hon Kyam Maher, Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy led the discussion on the impact of Industry and University collaborations.

Three South Australian companies currently working with IPAS provided short case studies on the following projects:

  • Chris Henry, General Manager, Austofix “Advanced Manufacturing of Orthoaedic Implants”
  • Dr Justin Praschifka, Group Leader, Radar and Technology Systems, Defence, Science and Technology Group “Over the Horizon Radar Systems”
  • Dr Anne Collins, General Manager: Instruments, Sensors and Devices, Trajan Scientific and Medical “Specialty Glass for Mass Spectrometry”

Dr Robert Lieberman, President of SPIE and international expert in photonics is visiting IPAS to investigate the impact and value of light-based technologies to business, government, and the community spoke about his view on companies in SA in a global context.

IPAS Director Prof Andre Luiten provided a Institute overview and further opportunity for networking was done over drinks and nibbles. It was a well attended event and we look forward to the next one.

Hon Kyam Maher

Hon Kyam Maher

Chris Henry

Chris Henry (Austofix)

Dr Justin Praschifka (DSTG)

Dr Justin Praschifka (DSTG)

Dr Anne Collins (Trajan Scientific and Medical)

Dr Anne Collins (Trajan Scientific and Medical)

Dr Robert (Bob) Lieberman (SPIE)

Dr Robert (Bob) Lieberman (SPIE)

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Hi-tech medical instruments hub up and running

Anne Collins - Trajan Scientific and Medical

Dr Anne Collins General Manager of the Instruments, Sensors and Devices Business Unit

A CUTTING edge hub to produce world class medical and science lab instruments has begun developing its first commercial products.

The centre opened in South Australia in late November and is already assuming global responsibility for commercially producing the hemaPEN – a device for dried blood spot sampling.

The collaboration between the University of Adelaide and Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) is supported by the South Australian government.

What we want to do out of Adelaide is create the next generation of analytical equipment

Trajan has a long history in precision glass manufacturing while the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing is a world leader in specialised glass manufacture.

Instruments, Sensors and Devices Business Unit General Manager Anne Collins said the hemaPEN would have potential applications for diabetes and DNA testing but would be one of many specialised items brought to commercial reality at the hub.

She said the business unit would focus on taking hi-tech products from their infancy and turning them into something “you can pick up and use”.

“Just about any lab you go into in the world will have analytical equipment that contains Trajan’s products,” Dr Collins said.

“What we want to do out of Adelaide is create the next generation of analytical equipment.

“Some of the objectives we’ve got are to take technologies, make them more applicable and get them into more places and make them smaller and more affordable.”

Dr Collins said many of the instruments would leverage the core technology and glass expertise from the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

“What’s great about being physically located here is that we’re interfacing on a daily basis with the researchers in IPAS. My door’s been open for less than three weeks and the number of people coming in with ideas is just phenomenal and that’s the advantage of being specifically located within the university.”

Trajan CEO Stephen Tomisich said the hub was an important milestone in the company’s journey as it expanded from its historical manufacturing hub in Melbourne, Victoria.

“The combination of the location in Adelaide, the collaboration with IPAS and the university, and the expansion of technical capabilities puts us in a strong position to realize our vision of enriching wellbeing,” he said.

He added that the Australian government’s recently released Innovation Statement that will help fund research and development will help more businesses collaborate with universities.

“We believe the renewed focus on science and innovation and the long term sustainable benefits to the economy are well directed,” Tomisich said.  “This is a first big step in the right direction.”

The strategic partnership grew from the Photonics Catalyst Program – a joint initiative between the South Australian government and IPAS to build connections between industry and emerging laser and sensing technologies.

Key to the partnership is the presence of the Optofab Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University and Health Industries South Australia.

University of Adelaide Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing includes 205 researchers, about 20 of whom will be directly involved with Trajan.

IPAS manager Piers Lincoln said having the highest level of industry collaboration in the same building as an advanced manufacturer such as Trajan was invaluable.

“We work with a lot of companies in other areas such as the wine industry and mining services and they might need a tiny part like a widget made so rather than searching overseas Trajan fills that gap perfectly,” he said.

“We are so excited about having Trajan here and what it represents.”

Article from “The Lead”