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Nanotoxicology under the microscope

30 July 2009, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF) has partnered with the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) to form the first AMMRF Linked Centre.

AMMRF Linked Centres are established in conjunction with a concentration of specialist researchers who are supported by a dedicated and experienced microscopist who can advise the researchers on the most appropriate techniques and facilities to support their research.

At the AIBN, the specialist microscopist will be supporting research in the area of nanotoxicology lead by Assoc. Prof. Darren Martin that focusses on the biological responses to a variety of nanoparticles used in a range of current and developing technologies.

The AMMRF is in a prime position to make a significant contribution to the nanotoxicology work through the imaging of nanoparticles using innovative specimen preparation techniques and state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy and electron tomography. Providing reliable techniques to analyse the effects of nanoparticles will help the whole field of nanotechnology to move forward safely and productively.

“Linked Centres are an important part of AMMRF strategy to develop a 'hub and spoke' model that directly supports major research centres in Australia” said Professor Simon Ringer, Executive Director of the AMMRF. “The specialist microscopist will form an important link between the AMMRF and the AIBN opening up capability that will enable world-class research outcomes for the AIBN researchers.” he said.

AIBN Director, Professor Peter Gray, welcomed this linkage saying that it strengthens the invaluable support AMMRF provides AIBN research programs.

“The AMMRF is embedded in the AIBN and this natural fit provides Institute researchers with leading-edge microscopy facilities at their finger tips,” he said.

The AMMRF is Australia’s peak research facility for the characterisation of materials by means of advanced microscopy and microanalysis, providing capability and services to all areas of the physical, environmental and biological sciences, to engineering, to medicine and to technology development.

Established under the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), the AMMRF is a truly national research facility with nodes at the University of Sydney (which also serves as the national headquarters), the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, the University of Western Australia, Australian National University, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia. The facility is funded by the Commonwealth Government through NCRIS and the State Governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

The facility unites microscopy and microanalysis centres at these universities into a national collaborative grid of laboratories, unified in terms of both equipment and research expertise. The AMMRF provides new, state-of-the-art instruments to researchers from Australia on a merit basis at nominal rates.

Contact: Dr Jenny Whiting, AMMRF Marketing & Business Development Manager, ph. 02 9114 0566.