Archive for Uncategorized

Congratulation to Marnie for being awarded a Partnership Grant

Congrats to Marnie and all the team for being awarded a 2019 Partnership Enabling Grant Scheme (PEGS) from the University of South Australia. The project will bring together the expertise of the group in isolating rare circulating fetal cells with that of Professor Jiuyong Li (Professor of Computer Science at the School of Information Technology and Mathematical Science of the University of South Australia) and Dr Thuc  Le (Bioinformatics, University of South Australia).

The project is entitled “A novel approach to better understand preeclampsia molecular disease aetiology” and will develop new methodologies and achieve proof-of-principle for transcriptomic analysis of circulating fetal cells.


7th MolecularDx Europe – 6th – 9th May Lisbon

Only a few days before the 7th MolecularDx Europe and what an exciting conference this will be.

See our invited talk reporting NIPDx technology to isolate circulating fetal trophoblastic cells in the “Enabling Technologies for Circulating Biomarkers” symposium.

About Molecular Diagnostics Europe

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Seventh International Molecular Diagnostics Europe event will move to a larger venue for 2019 – the Lisbon Marriott Hotel – from 6-9 May. This meeting provides a nexus for diagnostic developers in academia and industry as well as end users in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector to gain a comprehensive picture of molecular diagnostics in the prenatal, oncology, infectious disease, point-of-care, and liquid biopsy fields, plus new coverage of biomarkers for immunotherapy and companion diagnostics for immuno-oncology. This exciting area has attracted attendance of over 400 delegates to learn what novel technologies, platforms and applications are emerging that will impact future healthcare delivery and pharmaceutical research. Join us this spring at this expanding event at the epicenter of diagnostics.

Welcome to the International Symposium Bioengineered Cancer Model – June 21

The bioengineering group is organizing this exciting event to be chaired by Prof Benjamin Thierry and Dr Chih-Tsung Yang. Please join us. Symposium BioEngineered Models

Joint publication in Vietnam Journal of Chemistry

Congratulation to the team at the Microfabrication Laboratory and Pilot Plant Center for the publication of the article “Possible detection of antibiotic residue using molecularly imprinted polyaniline-based sensor” in the Vietnam Journal of Chemistry.

Congratulation to Tyron for his paper in ACS Nano

Congrats to Tyron and Ivan for the acceptance of the manuscript “Cross-Correlative Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Biological Mechanisms of Nanoparticle Radiosensitization” in ACS Nano. The article is online here.


Nanoparticle radiosensitization has been well demonstrated to enhance effects of radiotherapy, motivated to improve therapeutic ratios and decrease morbidity in cancer treatment. A significant challenge exists in optimizing formulations and translation due to insufficient knowledge of the associated mechanisms which have historically been limited to physical concepts. Here we investigated a concept for the role of biological mechanisms. The mere presence of gold nanoparticles lead to a down regulation of thymidylate synthase, important for DNA damage repair in the radioresistant S phase cells. By developing a cross-correlative methodology to reveal probabilistic gold nanoparticle uptake by cell sub-populations and the associated sensitization as a function of the uptake, a number of revealing observations have been achieved. Surprisingly, for low numbers of nanoparticles a desensitization action was observed. Sensitization was discovered to preferentially impact S phase cells where impairment of the DNA damage response by the homologous recombination pathway dominates. This small but radioresistant cell population correlates with much greater proliferative ability. Thus a paradigm is presented whereby enhanced DNA damage is not necessarily due to an increase in the number of DNA Double Strand Breaks (DSBs) created, but can be from a nanoparticle-induced impairment of the damage response by down regulating repair proteins such as thymidylate synthase.

Marnie short-listed for an Early Career Grant from the Trasher Foundation

Congratulation to  Marnie for being short-listed for a  prestigious ECR grant from the Trasher Research Fund. Only about 25% of applications are invited to submit a full application so well done. Fingers crossed for the next step.

The purpose of the Trasher Fund is to provide grants for clinical, hypothesis-driven research that offers substantial promise for meaningful advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of children’s diseases, particularly research that offers broad-based applications.


Uptake of Ceramisphere nanoparticles in intestine-on-chip to be published in Biomaterials Science

Congratulation to Kyall and Ludivine for the acceptance of their article ‘Uptake of silica particulate drug carriers in an intestine-on-a-chip: Towards a better in vitro model of nanoparticulate carriers and mucus interactions ‘ in RSC Biomaterials Science.

This manuscript  reports on the application of an intestinal epithelium microfluidic model to investigate the role of mucus in the uptake of particulate carriers by intestinal tissues. Two follow-up manuscripts are under review/in preparation so stay tuned.

Vasculature-on-chip & radiobiology article in Advanced Materials Technologies attract media coverage

Congratulation to Zhaobin and Chih-Tsung for the acceptation of their manuscript ‘Validation of a Vasculogenesis Microfluidic Model for Radiobiological Studies of the Human Microvasculature‘ in Advanced Materials Technologies. This work is a collaboration with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the UTS and the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute at Harvard Medical School.

This research has attracted the attention of  several  media outlets such as ‘Microfluidic chip could reduce radiotherapy side effects‘ in PhysOrg.



PCT patent filed for NIPDx fetal cell based NIPT

Great new – The IP underpinning NIPDx Pty Ltd has progressed t the PCT phase with the support of UniSA Ventures.

NIPDx is a spin-off company aimed at developing a next generation NIPT technology based on circulating fetal cells isolated from maternal blood. The need for better and more reliable NIPT has been recently illustrated in this article by the BBC UK:

‘I nearly aborted my baby because of an unreliable test’ – read the full article here.

Welcome and congratulations to Nghia

Congratulation to Nghia who has been awarded a “top-up” PhD scholarship from  Healthy Development Adelaide. He will start his PhD working closely with Marnie Winter on non-invasive prenatal testing.