15 July 2016 The University of Adelaide
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Dear Colleague,

IPAS External Quarterly Newsletter 16

Welcome to our 16th External Newsletter.

Message from IPAS Director Prof Andre Luiten

It is a great privilege to be Director of IPAS – it gives me the opportunity to support and work with all of our incredible researchers. The most important part of any organisation is the quality of its people and I am surrounded by the best. With the fantastic support of the University and the State Government we are continuing to grow by adding two very high quality research leaders in Dr Stephen Warren-Smith and Prof Robert McLaughlin. 

IPAS was founded with three important principles at its core: to undertake research at the leading edge of international science (excellence); to search for opportunities that arise from crossing the boundaries between traditional research disciplines (transdisciplinarity); to ensure that our members’ research makes a difference in the real-world, either through direct engagement with industry challenges, or through translation of our research outcomes into products (impact).

I think you will see all of these goals exemplified in this newsletter. In 2016 we have already had two new start-up companies from IPAS research and a local orthopaedic implant company has launched a new product which was created with IPAS under the Photonics Catalyst Program.

If something you read here, or on our website, sparks an interest in you then please do not hestitate to contact me.

Dr Stephen Warren-Smith wins prestigious Ramsay Fellowship

We welcome back Dr Stephen Warren-Smith who has won a prestigious Ramsay Fellowship. These fellowships are to support outstanding researchers to conduct full time independent research within the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Stephen completed his PhD in 2011 at University of Adelaide. Following this, Stephen was a recipient of an ARC Super Science Fellowship to work on fertility biomarker sensing. In 2015 Stephen became a Marie Curie International Fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, Germany, to investigate new designs of optical fibre biosensors. 

We welcome Stephen back to IPAS in October 2016. He will be leading our high temperature sensing program and the project ‘Imaging microstructured optical fibres for advanced endoscopy’.

IPAS 3D Metal Printing Promotional Video featuring Austofix

IPAS and the University’s Business School have produced a promotional video showcasing the 3D metal printing and ultrasonic milling capabilities at IPAS. The video features the partnership with Austofix and the innovative project which lead to the invention of a revolutionary 3D printed product for wrist fractures.

This video was showcased on Thursday 12 May at a ‘Disruptive Innovation’ interactive luncheon held by AmCham (American Chambers of Commerce in Australia) and can now be viewed on the IPAS YouTube Channel.

The Media release showcasing this new product for wrist fractures is featured in the article “Revolutionary wrist fracture device developed in SA - An innovative new device which will help wrist fractures heal faster and can be fitted more easily by surgeons has been developed, and will be manufactured, in South Australia." See the full article.

We Welcome the Chair of BioPhotonics

Prof Robert McLaughlin has joined The University of Adelaide as the new Chair of BioPhotonics supported by the State Governments Premier’s Research and Industry Fund.


A world-leader in the development of the ‘Fibre optical needle imaging’ technology, Robert’s expertise has been in successfully miniaturising fibre-optic probes encased within a hypodermic needle. These probes have then been inserted deep into the body to acquire fluorescence and optical coherence tomography images.

Robert is an investigator at Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and a key member of the science leadership team at IPAS and has an office in The Braggs, Level 3. We welcome Robert and his colleagues Bryden Quirk and Jiawen Li to Adelaide.

IPAS In the Media

New laser to shine light on remote sensing

A revolutionary new type of laser developed by IPAS members including Dr Ori Henderson-Sapir and A/Prof David Ottaway is promising major advances in remote sensing of greenhouse gasses. Published in the journal Optics Letters, a research team from the University of Adelaide and Macquarie University has shown that the new laser can operate over a large wavelength range within the infrared light spectrum. See the full article.

Spotlight on IPAS

Six case studies have been featured in the Winter Edition of Lumen Magazine. The Universities Alumni Magazine. Case studies include:

  • Surgery probe cuts cancer trauma
  • Shining light on ancient events
  • Support for the food and beverage sector
  • Sniffing out disease
  • Helping prove Einstein right
  • Scientists strike gold

Read the full article

Download in PDF format

Glass now has smart potential

IPAS researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a method for embedding light-emitting nanoparticles into glass without losing any of their unique properties – a major step towards ‘smart glass’ applications such as 3D display screens or remote radiation sensors.

This new “hybrid glass” successfully combines the properties of these special luminescent (or light-emitting) nanoparticles with the well-known aspects of glass, such as transparency and the ability to be processed into various shapes including very fine optical fibres. See the full article featuring IPAS researchers Dr Tim Zhao and Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem here.

Glass making at IPAS explained on 'Scope'

Dr Herbert Foo talks on the Kids TV show 'Scope' about glass making techniques and fibres at IPAS. Take a look at Herbert's segment captured in the final 5 minutes of the episode.

Artificial intelligence replaces physicists

Physicists are putting themselves out of a job, using artificial intelligence to run complex experiments. The experiment, developed by physicists from ANU, University of Adelaide and UNSW ADFA, created an extremely cold gas trapped in a laser beam, known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, replicating the experiment that won the 2001 Nobel Prize.

Included in this research team IPAS Director Professor Andre Luiten and Professor Anton van den Hengel, School of Computer Sciences at University of Adelaide. See the full article

Collaborative project with Flinders University “blow in a bag” breath test for cancer

Flinders University Researcher Dr Roger Yazbek, who is collaborating on an ARC Linkage grant with Prof Andre Luiten on cancer detection, has recently had the following article published in The Advertiser on their research “blow in the bag” breath test for cancer.

They hope the relatively cheap, non-invasive and rapid tests will eventually be similar to breast screening tests, giving an early warning for people who return a positive result to seek further testing. Flinders University researcher Dr Roger Yazbek is leading the innovative project at the Flinders School of Medicine Breath Analysis Research Laboratory. See the full article

Visiting Speakers

We continue to build collaborations with researchers from around the world. Recently we have hosted the following speakers:

Successful Funding

In the last quarter IPAS Members have been successful in securing the following funding:

ARC Linkage Project $500K - Enhanced sensitivity of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
IPAS Members: Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem; A/Prof Yvonne Stokes; Prof Peter Hoffmann
Industry Partner: Trajan

ARC Linkage Project $340K - Understanding sex differences in pain - cellular therapies for animal pain
IPAS Member: Prof Mark Hutchinson (Led by Macquarie University)
Industry Partner: Regeneus Ltd

ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub $2.6M - Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation
IPAS Members: Prof Dusan Losic (Hub Director), Adj Prof Nigel Spooner
Industry Partners: Archer Exploration Limited; Mount Sylvia Diatomite Pty Ltd; Qingdao Huagao Energy Technology Co Ltd; Ionic Industries Pty Ltd; Defence Science and Technology Organisation; Tata Steel Limited

Innovation Connections $100k - Proximal Humeral Plates
IPAS Members: Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Luis Lima-Marques
Industry Partner: Austofix

High Impact Research

Microstructured optical fiber-based biosensors: Reversible and nanoliter-scale measurement of zinc ions

We have created nanoscale biosensors for sensing zinc ions in biological samples by incorporating a photoswitchable sensor within the microenvironment of a liposome attached to microstructured optical fibers. Such sensors have potential application in disease diagnosis and study, as well as in environmental sensing.

Authors: Heng, S., McDevitt, C.A., Kostecki, R., Morey, J.R., Eijkelkamp, B.A., Ebendorff-Heidepriem, H., Monro, T.M., Abell, A.D.

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 (20) 12727-12732 (2016)

Nanoporous hard data: Optical encoding of information within nanoporous anodic alumina photonic crystals

In this study, the photonic stop band of nanoporous anodic alumina is engineered to implement a 8-bit binary code within the spectroscopic signature of these photonic crystal structures. This study opens up new opportunities for developing advanced nanophotonic tools for a broad range of applications, including sensing, photonic tagging, self-reporting drug releasing systems and secure encoding of information.

Authors: Santos, A., Law, C.S., Pereira, T., Losic, D.

Nanoscale 8 (15) 8091-8100 (2016)