- Synchrotron Usage: Researchers apply for beamline access based on project merit.
- Facilities: One of only two synchrotrons in the Southern Hemisphere, with the other located in Brazil.
- Engineering Focus: Beamline design emphasizes flexibility to accommodate various experiments.
- Researcher: Associate Professor Martin Donnelley, University of Adelaide.
- Award: Donnelley's team won a Eureka Prize for live rat imaging at the synchrotron.
- Challenge: Overcoming obstacles associated with live animal imaging outside a lab setting.
- Breakthrough: Developed X-ray velocimetry technique for imaging lungs of children with cystic fibrosis.
Understanding Cystic Fibrosis
- Disease Mechanism: Cystic fibrosis causes dehydration of airway surfaces, leading to sticky mucus and bacterial infections.
- Diagnostic Challenge: Spirometry and CT scans are common diagnostic methods, but limitations exist for young children.
- Solution: X-ray velocimetry offers a non-invasive alternative for visualizing lung airflow and calculating ventilation.
Technical Challenges and Solutions
- Remote Experimentation: Development of tools and techniques for remote experimentation due to radiation exposure.
- Physiological Monitoring: Implementation of monitoring systems for animal welfare during experiments.
- Innovative Approach: Overcoming challenges to conduct biological experiments effectively in a physics facility.
The innovative application of synchrotron technology, as demonstrated by Associate Professor Martin Donnelley's research, offers promising solutions for non-invasive imaging in cystic fibrosis diagnosis and treatment.