Category Archives: Uncategorized
Congratulations to IPAS members, Dr Lee Arnold and Adjunct Professor Nigel Spooner for their successful $669k ARC Linkage Project to establish an unprecedented record of biodiversity and environmental change during the Quaternary in the Naracoorte Caves.
The caves of Naracoorte provide a rare opportunity to investigate multiple biological and environmental records spanning a key period in earth history. The study will integrate investigations on all aspects of the preserved deposits, employing new approaches in geochronology, palaeontology and geochemistry to develop a truly comprehensive reconstruction of regional-scale palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental histories. Comprehensive understanding of long term patterns is key to our understanding of future impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
A full list of successfully funded ARC Linkage programs can be found here.
This week’s IPAS seminar will feature Dr Stephen Warren-Smith, who will be presenting his work involving “Sensing with Micro/Nano-Structure Optical Fibre“.
Stephen is currently a Ramsay Fellow within the Optical Materials and Structures group.
Thursday, 1st June, 3:30-4:30 pm
Level 2, The Braggs Meeting Room
IPAS 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.
IPAS 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.