Nanoscale Technology To Research From Inside Human Body

By Sophie Blackshaw
Monday, 24 November, 2014

The Australian Research Council's  (ARC) chief executive officer professor Aidan Byrne has welcomed the opening of the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at The University of Adelaide.

Professor Byrne said the centre will undertake cutting-edge research that will measure processes in living systems at the nanoscale—something that goes beyond current technology's capabilities.

“BioPhotonics is the science of generating and using light (photons) to image, detect and manipulate biological systems ... Nano BioPhotonics takes this a step further, using light to sense and measure within a living cell, such as inside individual cells in a blood vessel or in the human brain,” Professor Byrne said.

“This convergence of nanoscience and photonics will allow biological scientists to understand how single cells react to and communicate with their surroundings"

The technology will give scientists the opportunity to explore how life works from within, rather than from outside observation.

“The emerging science undertaken at this new ARC Centre will underpin a new generation of devices capable of probing the response of cells within individuals to environmental conditions or treatment; creating innovative and powerful new sensing platforms that will have untold application for human health," Professor Byrne said.

The Centre, which will receive $23 million in funding over the next seven years, brings together a diverse field of expertise, from physicists, to chemists to biologists.

Researchers from The University of Adelaide will collaborate with colleagues at Macquarie and RMIT universities, along with 12 partner organisations including the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute; CSIRO; Peking University (Beijing); City University London; University of Toronto (Canada); Bioplatforms Australia; Cook Medical Australia; and Olympus Australia.

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