The Nanostructured Interfaces and Materials Science (NIMS) Group was renamed as the Caruso Nanoengineering Group in November 2020.
Prof Frank Caruso joins team of leading experts in dementia diagnosis and treatment
A collaboration led by Prof Perminder Sachdev AM (Co-Director of UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)) has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Dementia Australia Research Foundation–Yulgibar Alzheimer’s Research Program to support research on the use of nanotechnology (nanoparticles) in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
The research project is a collaboration between researchers at CHeBA (Chief Investigators: Prof Perminder Sachdev, Assoc Prof Wei Wen, Dr Anne Poljak, Dr Karen Mather, Dr Nady Braidy), the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine (ACN), School of Chemistry UNSW (Chief Investigators: Prof Justin Gooding, Prof Richard Tilley), the Biological Resource Imaging Lab at UNSW (CI Dr Andre Bongers), the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre (CI Prof Ashley Bush), and ARC Centre for Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (CBNS), The University of Melbourne (Chief Investigators: Prof Frank Caruso). Other contributors include Dr Nady Braidy, Dr Lucy Gloag, Dr Kristian Kempe (NIMS alumnus, current senior research fellow at CBNS), Dr Olga Shimoni (NIMS alumna), and Ms Marina Ulanova.
Frank Caruso named on Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List
Congratulations to Prof Frank Caruso on being named a 2018 Highly Cited Researcher in the newly introduced Cross-Field category. This achievement recognises the exceptional impact that Prof Frank Caruso’s research has made across several fields spanning eg, engineering, chemistry, materials science, biology and biochemistry, through analysis of highly cited papers (those ranking in the top 1% by citations for field and year).
NIMS postgrad scores Eugen Singer Award
Congratulations to NIMS postgraduate student Shuaijun Pan who is recipient of the 2018 Eugen Singer Award. The Eugen Singer Award was donated by Ms Josephine Singer in memory of her late husband who distinguished himself as a chemical engineer, working in the field of precision engineering associated with the production and processing of polymers. The award thus recognises the academic excellence of research higher degree students engaged in the study of polymers, including their production and processing.
Shuaijun’s creative research has led to the development of sophisticated polymers for application as super-repellent coatings, which have diverse practical applications for non-stick pans, drag-reduction, oil-spill cleaning, and anti-freezing. The coatings are assembled directly from the reactive monomers through a one-step spray-assembly method, where the monomers go through synergistic hydration, condensation, and rapid anionic addition polymerization processes simultaneously. Additionally, the coatings are largely transparent, robust, mechanically durable, and can self-heal, display enhanced anti-freezing, and ice-removal properties. His outstanding work on “Coatings Super-Repellent to Ultralow Surface Tension Liquids” has recently been published in the prestigious materials science journal Nature Materials (2018, DOI 10.1038/s41563-018-0178-2). This work has also been spotlighted in c&en.
NIMS postdoc scores best presentation at FBNS
Congratulations to NIMS postdoc Dr JJ Richardson on winning the People’s Choice Award for his oral presentation on “Bio-nano means more than nanomedicine! Applications of bio-nano interactions for forensics.” He delivered his talk at the inaugural Frontiers in Bio-Nano Science (FBNS 2018), a CBNS EMCR event aimed at facilitating cross-disciplinary networking and collaboration.
NIMS feature article in Langmuir highlighted on front cover
As a recipient of the 2017 Langmuir Lectureship, Prof Frank Caruso was invited to submit a feature article that has been spotlighted on the front cover of Langmuir. This NIMS feature article discusses how poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) particles can be nanoengineered to balance stealth and targeting properties. PEG particles display unique in vivo behaviours (eg, biodistribution and immune cell interactions) and have received much attention for their potential in drug delivery applications.
NIMS collaborative initiative on developing a reporting standard for bio–nano science research
NIMS contributes to the 30th anniversary issue of Advanced Materials journal
Prof Frank Caruso and the NIMS research group were invited to submit a review for inclusion in the Special Virtual Issue Advanced Materials Hall of Fame on the 30th anniversary of the prestigious, peer-reviewed Wiley journal Advanced Materials. The review entitled “Overcoming the Blood–Brain Barrier: The Role of Nanomaterials in Treating Neurological Diseases” was written in collaboration with researchers at The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Imperial College London, and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Presently, neurodegenerative diseases continue to afflict millions of people worldwide without any cure in sight. One of the great obstacles to the successful treatment of these diseases is the blood–brain barrier, which prevents a large proportion of drugs from reaching and penetrating the brain. This review highlights many of the opportunities and challenges currently facing the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, with a special focus on the potential of nanomaterial-mediated approaches to achieve successful brain drug delivery. These areas form important topics of what NIMS researchers are investigating as part of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. This review also appears in the “Hot Topic: Drug Delivery” Virtual Collection.
In addition to his paper contribution to this milestone event, Prof Frank Caruso has been inducted as an inaugural member of the Advanced Materials Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding contribution, leadership and advances made in the field of biosystems: micro-/nanotechnology. This achievement has been profiled on Advanced Science News.
NIMS research on the controlled crystallization of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the spotlight
A recent NIMS article published in Wiley peer-reviewed journal Small was spotlighted by Advanced Science News. The article demonstrates the use of a supramolecular metallogel medium based on the natural polyphenol tannic acid for the controlled crystallization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Unlike previous supramolecular systems based on synthetic gelators, the present system possesses several inherent advantages including facile preparation, independence of a heat–cool cycle, use of inexpensive components, and the ability to incorporate diverse additives. It is envisioned that this system can provide a generic platform to study the crystallization of a range of hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and heat-sensitive APIs.
Lights, Camera, Action!
In this video, produced by c&en, NIMS Honorary Fellow Dr Mattias Björnmalm talks about the use of action cameras such as GoPros, cell phone cameras, and other inexpensive video equipment to record experimental procedures. Such recordings can serve as effective communication tools to not only convey information that might get lost in written instructions, but also help improve reproducibility by minimizing/preventing errors and unsafe practices. They can additionally serve as a platform to complement face-to-face laboratory training. In an Angewandte Chemie International EditionEditorial published earlier this year, NIMS researchers also highlighted the use of action cameras as a means to achieve robustness in chemistry.
NIMS postdoc scores best presentation at Fresh Science Victoria
Congratulations to NIMS postdoc Dr JJ Richardson for winning best presentation at the Fresh Science Victoria Pub Night for his talk entitled “Growing Nanomaterials inside Plants”. This route opens up an alternative to genetic engineering for tailoring plants to survive in harsh conditions. Moreover, the hybrid plants become fluorescent contaminant sensors thanks to the nanomaterials, allowing them to report on the surrounding soil and water quality.
Prof Caruso joins elite Fellowship of the Royal Society
Congratulations to Prof Frank Caruso who has been elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society in recognition of his outstanding and substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science. The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is one of the oldest academies in the world.
NIMS postdocs score 2017 Reviewer Excellence Award
Congratulations to NIMS postdocs Dr Yi (David) Ju and Dr Md Arifur Rahim who were both awarded the 2017 Reviewer Excellence Award from Chemistry of Materials for their outstanding contribution as a reviewer (top 1% reviewers).