Nanobiophotonics combines the use of light, (hence the word "photonics") and innovations coming from nanotechnology. It brings them together to develop technology solutions for applications in biotechnology and life sciences. Research in Nanobiophotonics is inherently multi-disciplinary and it uses the methods and concepts from biology, physics, chemistry, bioengineering and medicine. The technologies and applications developed by nanobiophotonics can be applied to resolve industrially and medically relevant problems in areas such as public health, food processing and safety, and environmental monitoring.
The focus in Nanobiophotonics research group at Macquarie University is on ultrasensitive detection of trace analytes. The need for ultrasensitive and specific biomedical diagnostics requires the development of optical and photonic detection/sensing technologies capable of detection and analysis down to a level of single biomolecules. The significance of such technologies is growing, not only in medicine. We are all aware that rapid detection of chemical and biochemical agents has become an integral concern for environmental protection and security agencies. Nanobiophotonics offers tools to meet technical challenges to rapidly and specifically detecting various chemical and biological agents at trace concentration levels. The spectroscopic techniques (optical spectroscopy, fluorescence, spectroscopy Raman scattering, IR spectroscopy and the approaches from biomolecular science are potentially critical components for a multidisciplinary approach to biomedical diagnostics chemo- and bio-terrorism early warning systems.