Nanophotonics for health and security

A new discovery of time-dimension nanophotonics has opened the way to untapped potential in non-invasive cancer diagnosis, rapid pathogen detection, and invisible coding for identification of authentic pharmaceuticals, passports and banknotes. 

Led by the Advanced Cytometry Labs at Macquarie with collaboration from 12 leading research institutions, a suite of portfolio technologies has been patented called SAAB platform. It was inspired by old television set technology. That luminescent ‘ghost’ image that remained on the screen long after the TV was switched off provided the idea behind the inventions of time-coded nanocrystals and time-resolved decoding technologies. Time-gated microscopes have been installed in France, the US and China. This approach has become a standard protocol for background-free imaging. 

With Minomic and Patrys, Macquarie is developing a simple and non-invasive diagnostic method for detecting the prostate and multiple myeloma cancer cells in patients’ urine and blood. This will lead to development of routine point-of-care population screening without the use of invasive needle biopsy. 

With Olympus, the team of the Macquarie Node at the ARC Centre of Excellence Nanoscale Biophotonics (CNBP) is developing single cell endoscopy imaging. It measures a cell’s reaction in real time to tell doctors whether or not a patient is responding to the drug treatment. 

The time-dimension nanophotonics has also created a vast library of molecular probes, as barcodes, for complex diagnostics for rapid screening of acute pathogen infections. 

Additionally, the technology can form ‘invisible’ inks with lifetime signatures, and has huge potential in confirming the authenticity of any product, from pharmaceutical drugs to medical courier supplies, banknotes and passports.

Find out about our research

View our Research collaboration and partnership page for more information on research partnerships.

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