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Medical Diagnostics and Devices

Smart Needle for Safer and More Effective Brain Surgery

A new high-tech medical technology towards making brain surgery safer has been developed by IPAS member and ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics Senior Investigator Prof Robert McLaughlin.

Integrated into a brain biopsy needle, the high-resolution optical probes were shown during in vivo human trials to be able to detect blood vessels, avoiding bleeds that can potentially be fatal, thereby making brain surgery safer.

The team is now exploring other applications for their ‘smart needle’ technology, both in the biotech and industrial space while working on the next generation of multifunction imaging probes.

As highlighted in the Australian Research Council’s recent publication Making a difference, Understanding our world and translating fundamental research, “The ‘smart needle’ is an outstanding example of how ARC-funded research can translate into real world benefits—in this case, commercially for the medical technology industry and, ultimately, improved health services for Australians”.


Learn more about smart needles


Optical Fibre Sensing to Aid Breast Cancer Research

An IPAS research team led by Dr Erik Schartner (left) has developed an optical fibre probe that distinguishes breast cancer tissue from normal tissue – potentially allowing surgeons to be much more precise when removing breast cancer, avoiding removal of excessive healthy tissue, or some cancerous tissue being left behind.

The team is now working on taking their research from the lab to the operating theatre, developing a device that could provide a portable, cost-effective solution to prevent follow-up surgery, currently needed for 15-20% of breast cancer surgery patients where all the cancer is not removed.


 Learn more about optical fibre sensing


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Novel imaging technique to detect biomarkers of early-stage ovarian cancer

MALDI-MSI of N-glycans is a relatively new technique that has immense potential in several clinical applications including identification and validation of biomarkers in cancer tissues. IPAS PhD student Matthew Briggs recently published about using this novel technique to spacially map sugars on ovarian cancer tissue samples.

Learn more about this novel imaging technique

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