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NEL at ICBNI 2017

The ICBNI 2017 meeting (International Conference on BioNano Innovation) was held at University of Queensland in sunny Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. This year, five of us made the trip up to Brisbane (Simon, Kye, Jiaul, Vidhi, and Julia), and all presented oral presentations on the new work that has been developing over the past 18 months. It was a great achievement for the group, and interesting to reflect on there being 5 presentations on brand new work that simply didn't exist 18 months ago. I spoke about some new work on bead-based PCR assays for rapid detection of bloodstream infections - a project which is set to become bigger in the lab because there are some MAJOR BioNano challenges that prevent detection of life-threatening bugs in a realistic time-frame. Kye spoke about his pH nanosensors that can now be deployed in murky bacterial suspensions, and still report pH measurements continuously over a 15 hr period. Julia showed her latest results on peptide-based films that can be expressed recombinantly, and combine anti-fouling, surface immobilization, and antibody-binding motifs in the same molecule. Vidhi presented on the interactions between c. albicans (a major bloodstream infection-causing fungus) and organosilica nanoparticles - an issues that has had surprisingly little attention. Finally, Jiaul stole the show with his presentation of antibody-fragments that change their flourescence spectra when they bind to target antigens in solutions.

This was a great meeting, with fantastic plenary talks as well - we will be back in 2019!