The Foundation is please to award a 50th Anniversary Commemorative Grant of $500,000 to RMIT University to help establish Australia's first purpose built nano-biosensing facility. This new $1.2m research facility, co-funded by RMIT, will support the development of cheap, ultra-precise and easy-to-use nano-devices for the diagnosis and detection of health hazards.
Research projects supported by the new facility include:
• a nano-device that cuts diagnosis time of meningococcal from hours to minutes
• an inexpensive nano-tool for diagnosing malaria in developing countries, that can give almost instant results and requires no medical training to use
The Ian Potter NanoBiosensing Facility will bring together bio-containment infrastructure and nano-biosensensing laboratories for the first time, allowing researchers to work with pathogens and microorganisms within a nanotechnology precinct. This facility will assist RMIT to create a secure materials science precinct, allowing the development of new transformative diagnostic technologies that will enable efficient treatment of diseases and health hazards.
According to the director of the new facility, Associate Professor Vipul Bansal, “The point-of-care nano-devices we’re developing are not only inexpensive and simple to use, but also extremely sensitive, so they give an accurate diagnosis almost instantly.
“Importantly, it will also help us advance our research through the establishment of international collaborations that can maximise the global impact of these life-saving, leading-edge technologies.”
The facility is destined to become a NanoBioSensing Hub in Australia, and the application attracted many letters of support from Australian and international scientific institutions highlighting the global importance and urgent need for this facility.
Commenting on the grant, The Ian Potter Foundation Chief Executive Officer Janet Hirst said, “This is an excellent project that has the potential to have a long term and transformative impact on nano-biosensing research with far reaching implications for human health. This grant recognises the achievements of RMIT and its team, and their contribution to the community.”
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