Archive for February 2014

Provisional patent filed for Aidan’s probe and ICONN presentation

Detecting Cancer Spreading with a Magnetic Probe

Research scientists from the Ian Wark Institute at the University of South Australia have developed a new technology to determine whether cancer has disseminated throughout the body, potentially providing surgeons with more accurate information on cancer spreading site and improving patients’ care. While current technology based on radiolabeled contrast agents performs well for superficial cancer such as breast cancer and melanoma, its efficacy for cancer of the internal organs remains poor.

Associate Professor Benjamin Thierry and Mr Aidan Cousins at the Ian Wark Institute, in collaboration with Dr Sarah Thompson from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, designed and validated in a pre-clinical model a novel ultrasensitive handheld magnetic probe which detects small amounts of clinically introduced magnetic material in lymph nodes. Combined with MRI, the magnetometer probe is used to accurately identify the physical location of the sentinel lymph node, which is the most likely to be the first to harbour cancer cells as a part of their process of dissemination to distant organs. Sentinel node biopsy is commonly used in breast cancer to determine the extent or stage of cancer in the body and guide treatment.  This project has received funding from the Government of South Australia via the Manufacturing Works, Medical Technologies Program (MTP) towards the development of an advanced prototype that could be tested clinically.

Mr Cousins presented this research (“Oesophageal Sentinel Lymph Node Identification in a Swine Model using Magnetic Lymphotropic Contrast Agents”) at the 23rd Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis (ACMM23) and the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2014), Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, from February 2-6 2014.



Name: Benjamin Thierry

Affiliation: Ian Wark Institute of the University of South Australia


Capturing cancer cells with nano-plastics – Wan’s work gets media attention at ICONN2014

Congratulation to Wan as his work presented at ICONN2014 on capturing cancer cells from peripheral blood with nano-plastics has attracted media attention. Read more here.

Annoncement for the 1st International Electronic Conference on Materials

Benjamin will co-chair the 1st International Electronic Conference on Materials organized through the platform.

The is a platform providing the technology to host digital conferences which address many of the difficulties that come with participating in a physical conference: ECM offers the opportunity to participate at this international, scholarly conference without having the concern or expenditure of travel. In addition, participation is free of charge—both for authors and attendees. Furthermore, the e-conference offers a rapid and direct exchange with the scientific community.

The 1st International Electronic Conference on Materials is sponsored by the open access journal Materials (2012 Impact Factor: 2.247; Accepted papers will be published in the proceedings of the conference, and selected papers will be considered for publication in Materials. Papers related to functional biomaterials can also be submitted to the Journal of Functional Biomaterials (

This first edition will focus on the issue of “Functional Materials and Interfaces”. All participants will have the chance to exchange their knowledge and latest research with other experts from the community, bringing a rich contribution to this important field. Researchers from both theoretical and applied fields will convene to discuss their latest investigations. The ECM 2014 conference will cover specific areas related to material science, which give an overall input from divers sections of the field and which will be chaired by well-known experts.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 1 April 2014

Deadline for Acceptance: 14 April 2014

Deadline for Submission of Proceedings Paper: 4 May 2014

Conference Open: 26 May–10 June 2014