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One of the key aims of IPAS is to combine research excellence with a strong industry focus and collaborative culture. The team at IPAS work closely with Adelaide Enterprise and Research Contracts and Partnerships, the commercialisation arms of the University of Adelaide, to create a culture of innovation within the Institute, foster industry-led collaborations and contract research, and to develop technology licence agreements.

The commercial objectives of IPAS are to accelerate the process of getting products to market, helping the growth of photonics and advanced sensing sectors in Australia, creating new opportunities and jobs for graduates and researchers outside traditional academic roles and securing an untied income stream to the Institute. Through their research, IPAS members have built a significant portfolio of patents.

IPAS Patented Technologies

  • Microstructured fibres and nanowires

    Our microstructured optical fibre sensors, developed in both soft and silica glasses, allow us to measure ultra-low concentrations of chemicals in nanolitre volumes of liquids. Active IPAS programs are developing this technology for sensing a range of analytes in applications such as IVF, wine production, soil nutrient monitoring, corrosion and mineral exploration. Australian and Japanese patents were granted in 2013.

  • A sensor and a method for characterising a dielectric material (VESPR)

    VESPR is a new form of surface plasmon resonance sensing that has been demonstrated to rapidly detect viruses, bacteria and cancer biomarkers in a label free system. We have active programs developing this technology for sensing a range of gastric cancer biomarkers.

  • Gastric cancer biomarkers

    A panel of biomarkers that may potentially be used to diagnose gastric cancer in humans have been discovered. This technology is being explored in collaboration with the VESPR team by integrating the two technologies. The patent application progressed to the PCT phase in 2013.

  • Q-switched laser

    Major applications for this include coherent laser radar (LIDAR) and other remote sensing applications, including gas detection.

  • A new class of antibiotic

    A new class of antibiotic for treating Staphyloccus aureus infections have been patented.

  • Waveguide chip laser

    The Waveguide laser is a new laser architecture based on waveguides written in rare earth doped fluoride glass. These lasers have achieved near-perfect beam quality lasing at 1.1 μm, 1.9 μm, 2.1 μm, and 2.9 μm with broad tunability, and are potentially the longest wavelength planar waveguide lasers ever demonstrated.

    The lasers are anticipated to be used in gas detection, long-range laser radar applications, free-space optical communication, medical diagnostics, laser surgery, optical pumping of longer wavelength lasers, material processing and security applications. The patent application progressed to the National phase in 2013.

  • Whispering gallery mode sensor

    Our whispering gallery mode sensor comprises microspheres attached to the end of optical fibres. This kind of architecture allows very sensitive measurements to be made in vivo. The patent application progressed to the National phase in 2013.

  • Autoantibody biomarker candidates for early ovarian cancer

    A panel of auto-antibodies which have been shown to be discriminators between early ovarian cancer and healthy/benign controls have been identified. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecologic malignancies in Australia. It presents at a late clinical stage in more than 80% of patients, and is associated with a 5-year survival of only 35% in this group. In contrast, the 5-year survival for patients with organ-confined stage I ovarian cancer exceeds 90%, and most patients are cured of their disease. A provisional patent application was filed for this invention in 2013.

  • Optical fibre radiation sensor

    We have developed an optical fibre radiation dosimeter capable of instant readouts of ionising radiation and accumulated radiation doses. We are now working with oncologists to understand how this highly accurate measure of the radiation dose applied to tumours during radiotherapy can be clinically applied.
    Dual wavelength pumped laser system

    The first erbium-doped zirconium-fluoride-based glass fibre laser operating well beyond 3 μm with significant power has been developed. This fibre laser achieved 260 mW in CW at room temperature. The use of two different wavelength pump sources allows us to take advantage of the long-lived excited states that would normally cause a bottleneck, and this enables maximum incident optical-to-optical efficiency. A patent application has been filed for this invention.

  • Device and method for sensing a chromatic property of foodstuff (browning sensor)

    A novel browning sensor was developed by a team of researchers working at IPAS. The inventors secured IPAS Pilot Project funding in order to fund the demonstration of the sensor, and the Institute supported the inventors by funding the patenting of the sensor. The Institute is delighted that a new sensing technology developed by its researchers is being commercialised by a new start-up company trading under Sensability Pty. Ltd. led by the inventors who have licensed the technology from the University of Adelaide.

  • An optical sensor

    A novel method for coating of temperature-sensitive materials has been developed to allow for rapid fabrication of probes for bio-applications. This dip coating method allows the temperature to be recorded at the tip of a standard silica optical fibre with good spatial resolution. A patent application was filed for this invention in 2013.

  • Contact

    Piers Lincoln

    Mr Piers Lincoln

    T: +61 (0)8 8313 5772
    M: +61 (0)410 221 278

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 9254

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