RMIT University is a node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.
The Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) brings together physicists, chemists and biologists focused on a grand challenge – controlling nanoscale interactions between light and matter to probe the complex and dynamic nanoenvironments within living organisms.
The emerging convergence of nanoscience and photonics offers the opportunity of using light to interrogate nanoscale domains, providing unprecedentedly localised measurements. This will allow biological scientists to understand how single cells react to and communicate with their surroundings. This science will underpin a new generation of devices capable of probing the response of cells within individuals to environmental conditions or treatment, creating innovative and powerful new sensing platforms.
The CNBP has been funded for 7 years from 2014, with a total of $23 million from the ARC, and more than $16 million additional cash commitment from all partner organisations.
RMIT node focus
The work of the CNBP is focused on four themes. The RMIT University node of CNBP will focus on two of these.
Theme 1: Illuminate
The experimental team will explore advanced optical materials that efficiently deliver and collect light to and from cells and molecules locally.
This will allow us to non-invasively probe individual interacting biomolecules by using nanoparticle-based "lamps". This science theme pursues bio-compatible fluorescent nanoparticles, next-generation optical fibres and nanoparticle enriched hybrid materials.
Theme 3: Measure
The theoretical team is working to improve measurement systems and understand the fundamental limits of measurement. Every photon is precious, and we want to ensure that each one is optimally delivered, extracted and interrogated to achieve the Centre’s goal of developing windows into the body. We will derive the fundamental equations that allow us to understand the limits of sensing, in terms of power, temporal and spatial resolution; as well as design new platforms for the delivery and extraction of light from biological targets of interest.