Imaging

The CNBP imaging program addresses the grand challenge of imaging the most inaccessible environments of the living body as well as other dynamic biological systems.

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The needs and benefits of imaging the biological world have been understood for a long time. Imaging offers a unique way to probe the complex and dynamic environments within living organisms and systems.

Light is capable of interrogating minuscule, nanoscale domains, providing unprecedentedly localised measurements. This allows biological scientists to understand how single cells react to and communicate with their surroundings.

Imaging also continues to play a vital role in improving human life, providing important tools for the early detection of disease, understanding basic biology of living organisms and the evaluation of medical treatments.

There is vast unexplored biology yet to be unravelled with various molecular imaging methods. Non-invasive molecular imaging can provide insights into the cellular function and monitoring of processes in living organisms, ideally in vivo and without detectable biological interference.

Above - Prof Ewa Goldys, CNBP Co-Deputy Director. Specialist in hyperspectral cell imaging technology.

Among the rich diversity of biomolecules in living systems, the physiologically important ones are frequently poorly abundant. These trace molecules can be tagged and visualized in their full anatomical context, thanks to advances in nanotechnology and specific antibody coated nanoparticles to reveal their localisation. Sophisticated nanoparticle chemical sensors help us gain deeper insights into the complex mechanisms of cell biology. 

Building on these novel technologies, the CNBP imaging program addresses the grand challenge of imaging the most inaccessible environments of the living body: the deep enigma of the reproductive tract, the fragile brain and the convoluted network of blood vessels.

We are exploring the interaction with light and biological systems, especially important in cases when light is applied to whole organisms in their critical development stages, such as the case with increasingly widespread in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

We build advanced imaging technologies, which supported by bioinformatics and big data extraction, allow the images to be turned into reliable scientific findings.

CNBP has a strong track record in the development and clinical application of new imaging techniques and has been responsible for major fundamental work in super-resolution, time-gated and hyperspectral imaging.

The research strengths of CNBP in advanced imaging are recognised both nationally and internationally, as exemplified by our leading publications (in Nature and Nature family) and two consecutive Eureka awards - presented for innovative hyperspectral imaging  technology and the development of super-bright nanocrystals termed Super Dots.

We have activity in optical coherence tomography (OCT) and are developing tiny imaging needles to make brain surgery safer; we also work in the branch of ophthalmology looking at diagnostics for diseases of the eye, as well as pursue clinical applications in the area of cancer surgery and cancer diagnostics too. 

We develop fundamental science of imaging at the nanoscale—all the way though to portable systems for health and fertility monitoring in the home, as well as for the assessment of food quality and monitoring which has become an increasingly key priority throughout the world today.

At the CNBP we are imaging things that have never been imaged before!

Above - CNBP CI and Co Deputy Director A/Prof Brant Gibson with research interests across fluorescent nanoprobes, photonics, hybrid integration and microscopy. 

The Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics links Australia's key nanophotonics groups and builds on Global Collaborations with a focus on doing the science required to advance biology.