Molecular and Nanoscale Physics

Latest News

She's done it again!

11 March 2015

Once again we would like to say congratulations to Dr Lorna Dougan who is an Associate Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Lorna was recently recognised for her efforts in Polymer Science and received an award celebrating Women in Science. Lorna has since been honoured with the Suffrage Science Award along with two others from the University of Leeds.

The awards are selected by current MRC Suffrage award holders to distinguish outstanding researchers in science and engineering.

For further information, please click here.




Celebrating Women of Achievement 2015

5 March 2015

Congratulations to Dr Lorna Dougan who has been recognised for her achievements and contributions to polymer science. Lorna recently accepted the Macro Group UK Young Researcher Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Lorna is part of a select group that has been recognised by the University of Leeds as 'Women of Achievement 2015', and has been listed on the website.

For more information on Lorna's work, please visit the MNP webpage and Lorna's own group webpage.

Once again, congratulations to Lorna.

 




UK - India collaborations

23 February 2015

The UK-India Research Seminar, hosted by the University of Leeds was held last week at Weetwood Hall. The seminar was a great success and has opened doors for new collaborations across a wide range of UK and Indian Institutions.

Dr Kevin Critchley organised the 2.5 day seminar and pulled together a range of speakers from across the UK in addition to the 5 delegates from India to discuss ‘Photo-responsive Functional Surfaces for Bio-Nano Applications in Healthcare’, with speakers including Leggett, Bushby, Singh, Evans, Turner, Mendes, Summers and Hariharan.  The meeting identified  a number of ideas that will serve as the basis for collaboration between researchers in the UK and India.

Funding for the seminar came from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the Royal Society and by the Department for Science and Technology (DST) India.

For more information on the seminar and final delegate list please visit the website.

 




Three pronged attack on cancer cells

17 February 2015

Researchers including Dr Sunjie Ye and Professor Steve Evans from the School of Physics and Astronomy have shown that gold nanotubes have many applications in fighting cancer including: internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging; drug delivery vehicles; and agents for destroying cancer cells

High recurrence rates of tumours after surgical removal remain a formidable challenge in cancer therapy. Chemo- or radiotherapy is often given following surgery to prevent this, but these treatments cause serious side effects. Gold nanotubes – that is, gold nanoparticles with tubular structures that resemble tiny drinking straws – have the potential to enhance the efficacy of these conventional treatments by integrating diagnosis and therapy in one single system.

A new technique to control the length of nanotubes underpins the research. By controlling the length, the researchers were able to produce gold nanotubes with the right dimensions to absorb a type of light called ‘near infrared’, which passes through human tissue. Therefore gold nanotubes travelling through the body will absorb light of the right frequency and convert it to heat, rather like the warmth generated by the Sun on skin. Using a pulsed laser beam, it was possible to rapidly raise the temperature in the vicinity of the nanotubes so that it was high enough to destroy cancer cells.

A new type of imaging technique called ‘multispectral optoacoustic tomography’ (MSOT) was used to detect gold nanotubes which had been intravenously injected in mice. It was also shown that gold nanotubes were excreted from the body and therefore unlikely to cause problems in terms of toxicity, an important consideration when developing nanoparticles for clinical use.
The nanotubes can be tumour-targeted and have a central ‘hollow’ core that can be loaded with a therapeutic payload. This combination of targeting and localised release of a therapeutic agent could, in this age of personalised medicine, be used to identify and treat cancer with minimal toxicity to patients.
The use of gold nanotubes in imaging and other biomedical applications is currently progressing through trial stages towards early clinical studies.
The study details the first successful demonstration of the biomedical use of gold nanotubes, in a mouse model of human cancer. The research paper, ‘Engineering Gold Nanotubes with Controlled Length and Near-Infrared Absorption for Theranostic Applications’, was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials on 13 February 2015.

The image shows pulsed, near infrared light (shown in red), shining onto a tumour (shown in white) that is encased in blood vessels. The tumour is imaged by multispectral optoacoustic tomography via the ultrasound emission (shown in blue) from the gold nanotubes. Image credit: Jing Claussen (iThera Medical, Germany)




Dougan to speak in Baltimore

9 February 2015

Dr Dougan has been invited to speak at an upcoming symposium in Baltimore, USA.

The Symposium is on 'Extremophiles: Testing the Physics Limits of Living Systems', and will be held at the American Biophysical Society.

Dr Dougan will be discussing her own area of research, which is extremely relevant to the topic. Dougan's talk will be on 'Using single molecule force spectroscopy to probe proteins from extremophile organisms.'

Other speakers include:

Georges Feller, University of Liege, Belguim

Catherine Royer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chair

Douglas Bartlett, University of California, San Diego




Displaying results 11 to 15 out of 51

23rd April 2014

Congratulations to Adam Churchman who recieved the prize for best poster at this year's IOP Conference, "Solutions in the Spring".

Adam's poster focused on, "Developing microfluidic methods of producing microbubble with an inner oil layer towards hydrophobic delivery".

This year's IOP Conference ran from 11-14th at Homerton College, Cambridge. For more details about the conference, please click here.

 

Physical Sciences and Oncology Away Day success

10th April

The School of Physics and Astronomy recently hosted a Physical Sciences and Oncology Away Day for the Faculty of MaPS. The delegate list included clinicians from the field of Oncology, it was an opportunity for both the Physical Scientists and Clinicians to get together to discuss the challenges. There were 40 delegates in total on the day.

Professor Steve Evans, Head of Group in MNP and Director of Research for the School, led the day and arranged for the following topics to be discussed:

Steve Smye gave an overall introduction to the challenges that researchers in the field are currently facing and David Buckley gave a brief talk about Imaging.

Understanding disease (Basic Sciences/Modelling), introduced by Professor Pam Jones

Diagnostics (Imaging/Sensing) presented by Mr Greg Taylor from St James Hospital

Treatment (Imaging/Delivery) by Professor Peter Selby

Vivian Cosgrove also gave a brief introduction to Radiotherapy Physics Research

The day comprised of small group discussions and workshops, looking at refining the challenges, developing solutions and finally feeding back to the rest of the group.

The intention of the day was to develop new collaborations, we are pleased to say that a very positive outcome was established and we hope to be taking these new ideas forward very soon.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the organisation of the day and for those delegates who took part in what we can confidently say was a very successful day.

 

Megan Hughes wins best presentation at recent PG Symposium

4th April 2014

Congratulations to Miss Megan Hughes on being awarded the best presentation at this years Postrgraduate Symposium, held on Tuesday 1st April 2014.

Megan is part of the Dougan group in Molecular & Nanoscale Physics and is currently focusing her research on physics proteins, which are biological molecules with very important functions in the cell. These molecules have unique 3D shapes and Megan is interested in the importance of the forces that hold this 3D shape together.

To see Megan's prize winning presentation, please click here

Victoria Mico wins best poster prize at recent PG Symposium

4th April 2014

Congratulations to Miss Victoria Mico for winning the best poster prize at this years Annual Postgraduate Symposium.

The poster focused on 'Engineering lipid oil nano-droplets for hydrophobic drug delivery', and included input from Dr Sally Peyman and Professor Stephen Evans. To take a look at the winning poster, please click here

The PG Symposium is held every year at University of Leeds and is a great opportunity for PG in Physics and Astronomy to showcase their research in particular areas.

1st April 2014

Registration Opens for this years Microbubble Symposium

Registration for the Annual Microbubble Symposium opens today, to register, please visit our Microbubble webpage

For a full list of speakers and further details about the Symposium, please click here

This is the fourth year Leeds Microbubble Consortium have hosted the Symposium, for details about previous years, please click here

PhD position: New single molecule techniques for understanding protein-DNA interactions

28th March

DEADLINE: 1st MAY 2014

BACKGROUND

Protein-DNA interactions are central to many major cellular processes, including transcription, replication, and packaging of DNA into chromatin. However, we still know very little about how proteins interact physically with DNA. Without this basic knowledge we will be unable to understand many of the processes underpinning nucleic acid metabolism. New approaches are therefore required to probe directly how proteins bind to and manipulate DNA.

THE PROJECT

The project will exploit novel single molecule approaches to examine protein-DNA complexes with unprecedented molecular resolution. The ability to control, manipulate and interrogate single molecules will provide powerful insight into the function of these systems and, ultimately, will help us to understand the processes that underpin all aspects of nucleic acid metabolism. The project will make use of novel direct physical approaches to characterise the stability, flexibility and function of protein-DNA complexes (force clamp AFM) and will benefit from the unique collection of skills and experience of the research team.

The project is a collaboration between Dr Lorna Dougan in Physics at Leeds and Prof Peter McGlynn  in Biology at York.

THE NETWORK

This project forms part of a new White Rose studentship network “New single molecule techniques for understanding the physics of living systems” and is made up of a team of collaborators from the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York. The goal of the network is to develop new physical approaches to answer biological questions and new ways for working collaboratively across the physics-life science interface to maximise the impact of these approaches.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Lorna Dougan - l.dougan@leeds.ac.uk

 

Registration for the Microbubble Symposium on April 1st

24th March

Registration will open for the Annual Microbubble Symposium on Tuesday 1st April.

This year we have another impressive line up of high profile speakers from the Microbubble field, including:

Valeria Garbin, Ian Miller, Jose Manuel Gordillo Arias de Saavedra, Abraham Lee, T.G.Leighton, Michiel Postema, Neil Thomson, Alexander Klibanov and Juergen Willmann

The Symposium will run over 2 days, from 1pm on Monday 14th July to Tuesday 15th July.

Full details of registration costs will be available on the Microbubble website from 1st April.

Leeds' Academic's speak at LCMB conference in India

7 March 2014

Professor Stephen Evans and Professor Richard Bushy recently attended the 'Light in Chemistry, Materials and Biology' in Kharagpur, India. Both were invited to speak at the conference and Richard was announced as the guest of honour.

The conference ran from 24th to 25th February 2014 at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur.

Speakers Announced for Forthcoming Microbubble Symposium

13 February 2014

We are pleased to confirm the following people will be speaking at this year's...

We are pleased to confirm the following people will be speaking at this year's Microbubble Symposium at Weetwood Hall, 14-15 July:

Valeria Garbin - Imperial College London

Jose Manuel Gordillo Arias de Saavedra - Sevilla University

Alexander Klibanov - University of Virginia

Abraham Lee - UC Irvine

T.G.Leighton - University of Southampton

Michiel Postema - University of Bergen

Ronald Roy - University of Oxford

Neil Thomson - University of Leeds

Juergen Karl Willmann - Stanford University

Registration will open on 1st April, further details will be listed on our Microbubble page, here

Leeds Microbubble Group attend 19th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging

23-24th January 2014

Members of the Leeds Microbubble Group attended the 20th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging in Rotterdam.

Sally Peyman produced the following poster about Microbubbles as stable drug-loadable structures toward targeted, triggered drug delivery, which can be viewed here.

For more information please click here.

Leeds Microbubble Group feature in Soft Matter blog

Issue 5, 2014

'Self-assembly of actin scaffolds on lipid microbubbles.' Please use the links below to take a further look at the paper and also the front cover of the blog.

Soft Matter Hot Papers 2014

Soft Matter Blog

Front Cover

Congratulations to those involved: George R. Heath, Radwa H. Abou-Saleh, Sally A. Peyman, Benjamin R.G. Johnson, Simon D. Connell and Stephen D. Evans

Microbubble Symposium 2013

The Annual Leeds Microbubble Symposium was held in June 2013 this year. Guest speakers included a number of world leaders in Microbubble research. The list of speaker is as follows:

Mark Borden, Eleanor Stride, Mangala Srinivas ,Michael Versluis, James McLaughlan, Oliver Couture, Georg Schmitz, Georg Feichtinger, Lori Bridal, Alexander Kilbanov, Klazina Koiiman, Heleen Dewitte, Jeff Bamber, Sandra Meyer and Paul Sidhu.

More details about the Annual Symposium can be found here.

14/07/13: Epigem and University of Leeds unveil first Microbubble Instrument - The HORIZON - for more information, click here