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Optical Biomedical Imaging and Sensing

Project 3: Upconversion nanoparticle interaction with live, excised and artificial skin

Supervisors: A/Prof Andrei Zvyagin, A/Prof Karen Vickery

Widespread applications of nanotechnology materials have raised safety concerns due to their possible penetration through skin and concomitant uptake in the organism.  This calls for systematic study of nanoparticle transport kinetics in skin, where high-resolution optical imaging approaches are often preferred.  This project will address application of emerging bright nanomaterial, called upconversion nanoparticles, to optical imaging in skin that results in complete suppression of background due to the excitation light back-scattering and biological tissue autofluorescence.  As the test skin model, we will use artificial skin developed in our group, which is made of animal tissue cleared from cells and res with human skin cells regrown.  This provides a lucrative testbed for investigation of nanomaterial interaction with human skin.

Figure. (Left) An image of a decellularised rabbit kidney. The same decellularization protocol is used to produced skin scaffold.  (Right) Human skin scaffold is seeded with keratinocytes cells (blue) and incubated with upconversion nanoparticles.

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