Fluorescent nanodiamonds (NDs) are an attractive nanoscale tool that have a range of unique properties which make them highly desirable for bioimaging and biosensing applications. Their fluorescence is produced via optical excitation of atomic defects, such as the negatively charged nitrogen vacancy centre, within the diamond crystal lattice. Possessing long-wavelength emission, high brightness, no photobleaching, no photoblinking, single photon emission at room temperature, nanometer size, biocompatibility, and an exceptional resistance to chemical degradation, make NDs almost the ideal fluorescent bioimaging nanoprobe.
Potential use and applications:
- Magnetic field sensing
- Electric field monitoring
- Radio frequency signal detection
- Reineck, A. Francis, A. Orth, D. W. M. Lau, R. D. V. Nixon-Luke, I. Das Rastogi, W. A. W. Razali, N. M. Cordina, L. M. Parker, V. K. A. Sreenivasan, L. J. Brown and B. C. Gibson, ‘Brightness and Photostability of Emerging Red and Near-IR Fluorescent Nanomaterials for Bioimaging’, Advanced Optical Materials, (2016). DOI:10.1002/adom.201600212
- Reineck and B. C. Gibson, ‘Near-infrared fluorescent nanomaterials for bioimaging and sensing’, Advanced Optical Materials, (2016) DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600446
- Reineck, L. F. Trindade, J. Havlik, J. Stursa, Ash. Heffernan, A. Orth, M. Capelli, P. Cigler, D. A. Simpson, B. C. Gibson, ‘Not all fluorescent nanodiamonds are created equal: a comparative study’, Particle and Particle Systems Characterization, 36, 3, 1900009 (2019) DOI:10.1002/ppsc.201900009
Novel optical fibre design and fabrication
New fibre designs have been created for in-vivo and commercial applications. These designs control the guidance of light by the fibres to achieve novel functionalities such as imaging at the fibre tip or measuring chemicals or biological species in difficult to reach locations. Fibres can be designed for specific end-use applications, to create unique laser properties or sensor designs such as the exposed core optical fibres that allow for sensing to be performed along the entire length of fibre.
Potential uses and applications
- In-vivo medical research or devices, e.g. in-vivo blood monitoring, oxidative stress monitoring
- Chemical or pharmaceutical manufacture and process control
- Industrial use, e.g. high temperature sensing, pressure sensing
- Warren-Smith, S. C., Dowler, A., & Ebendorff-Heidepriem, H. (2018). Soft-glass imaging microstructured optical fibers. Optics Express, 26(26), 33604-33612.
- Schartner, E. P., Dowler, A., & Ebendorff-Heidepriem, H. (2017). Fabrication of low-loss, small-core exposed core microstructured optical fibers. Optical Materials Express, 7(5), 1496-1502.
Protein nanocages self-assemble from multiple protein subunits into hollow, symmetrical and complex nanostructures, which serve as containers for natural and non-natural cargoes (e.g. biomolecules, polymers and inorganics). Their capacity to encapsulate functional cargo, coupled with the ability to genetically and/or chemically functionalise their surfaces, enables protein nanocages to be custom-engineered for specific uses. Accordingly, protein nanocages have emerged as promising nano-machines with utility in biocatalysis, bioremediation, materials synthesis, electronics, sensing, vaccine development and drug delivery. At the CNBP, we have successfully developed encapsulin protein nanocages into a tunable platform technology for a multitude of practical and innovative applications.
Potential uses and applications:
- Drug delivery
- Vaccine development
- Nanomaterials synthesis
- Synthetic biology (e.g. orthogonal organelles)
Dr Andrew Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diaz, D.; Vidal X.; Sandra F.; Sunna A.; Care A. Engineering encapsulin into a light-activatable nanoreactor for the “on demand” generation of reactive oxygen species. bioRxiv 2020 DOI:10.1101/2020.06.06.138305
- Sandra, F.; Khaliq, N.U.; Sunna, A.; Care, A. Developing Protein-Based Nanoparticles as Versatile Delivery Systems for Cancer Therapy and Imaging. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1329.DOI:3390/nano9091329
Silk fibroin, obtained from caterpillars, has exceptional characteristics due to its outstanding biocompatibility, high water and oxygen uptake, biodegradability, low toxicity, and non-allergenic nature. Silk fibron can also be used as a carrier for delivering drugs, growth factors, and bioactive agents, to wounds for example, while providing appropriate support for complete healing. In our research, we have shown that silk fibron is a highly attractive polymer for biophotonic devices due to its high optical transparency and easy functionalization with a variety of optical sensors. These qualities make silk an ideal candidate for the incorporation optical sensing materials.
Potential use and applications:
- Drug delivery
- Wound healing
- Biocompatible scaffolds
- Hybrid sensing
- Khalid, D. Bai, A. Abraham, A. Jadhav, D. Linklater, A. Matusica, D. Nguyen, B. J. Murdoch, N. Zakhartchouk, C. Dekiwadia, P. Reineck, D. Simpson, A. K. Vidanapathirana, S. Houshyar, C. A. Bursill, E. Ivanova, B. Gibson, ‘Electrospun nanodiamond-silk fibroin membranes: a multifunctional platform for biosensing and wound healing applications’ (2020). DOI: TBA Cite as: arXiv:2006.00614
- Khalid, L. Peng, A. Arman, S. C. Warren-Smith, E. P. Schartner, G, M. Sylvia, M. R. Hutchinson, H. Ebendorff-Heidepriem, R. A. McLaughlin, B. C. Gibson, and J. Li, ‘Silk: a bio-derived coating for optical fiber sensing applications’, Sensors and Actuators: B. Chemical, 311, 127864, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2020.127864
3D tissue engineering matrix
In the body cells are surrounded by a matter named extracellular matrix (ECM). ECM is produced by cells, has complex composition and structure, and regulates the cells’ viability and functionality. The ECM of the same organs of humans and animals is similar. The proposed 3D matrices are produced by removal of animal cells from animal tissues and represent organ-specific ECM. They are applicable for 3D cell culture, tissue engineering or for any reconstruction of the tissues outside the body for research purposes (e.g., testing of new drugs, engineering tools and analytical methods). Highly biocompatible matrices of >10 organs are available.
Potential Uses and Applications:
- 3D cell culture (scaffolds)
- Tissue engineering
- Source material for organ-specific bioinks for 3D bioprinting
- Tissues and organs living optical phantoms
- Studies of mass and heat transfer in the tissue
- Drug development
- Drug testing
- Nanomedicine development and testing
- Animal replacement in research
- Guller A, Trusova I, Petersen E, Shekhter A, Kurkov A, Qian Y, Zvyagin A: ‘Acellular organ scaffolds for tumor tissue engineering.’ Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2015. pp. 96684G-G-9. DOI: 1117/12.2202473
- Khabir Z, Guller AE, Rozova VS, Liang L, Lai YJ, Goldys EM, Hu H, Vickery K, Zvyagin AV: ‘Tracing upconversion nanoparticle penetration in human skin.’ Colloids and surfaces B, Biointerfaces 2019, 184:110480. DOI:1016/j.colsurfb.2019.110480
Lanthanide up-and down-conversion nanoparticles
CNBP has established an advanced nanoparticle fabrication facility at Macquarie University with a focus on synthesis of single-core and core-shell up-conversion and down-conversion lanthanide-doped nanoparticles, specialised gold nanoparticles and mesoporous (usually silicon) nanoparticles. The facility offers 8 workstations with extraction and multi-gas supply, and is open to users from both MQ and other institutions, subject to strict induction and operational safety requirements. A key development in the facility is automated (computer-controlled) growth of lanthanide nanoparticles resulting in very high precision and repeatability in NP size, structure and doping concentrations. Post-synthesis capabilities include surface processing (functionalisation) and single nanoparticle characterisation.
Potential Uses and Applications:
- Colour- and lifetime-codable luminescent bioprobes for biomedical diagnostics
- Developments of hybrid materials
- Energy conversion (in conjunction with photovoltaics)
- Specialist gold/silver nanoparticles for plasmonic enhancement of luminescent and Raman-active nanoparticles
- Mesoporous nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery
- LU Y, ZHAO J, ZHANG R, LIU Y, LIU D, GOLDYS E, YANG X, XI P, SUNNA A, LU J, SHI Y, LEIF R, HUO Y, SHEN J, PIPER J, ROBINSON J and JIN D, Tunable lifetime multiplexing using luminescent nanocrystals, Nature Photonics 8 (2014) 33-37 DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.322.
- ZHAO JB, LU ZD, YIN YD, MCRAE C, PIPER JA, DAWES JM, JIN DY and GOLDYS EM, Upconversion luminescence with tunable lifetime in NaYF4:Yb,Er nanocrystals: role of nanocrystal size, Nanoscale 5 (2013) 944-952 DOI: 10.1039/c2nr32482b