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The challenge

Improving detection and treatment of injury and disease

A key requirement in the advance towards precision health and medicine is our ability to monitor, in real time, the many complex physiological processes occurring within the human body. These processes can show the early warning signs of injury or disease.

If we are able to detect subtle changes in physiological function, disease-specific biomarkers, or exposure to harmful pathogens, we could enable interventions at the earliest moment, improve our understanding of disease progression, and develop more targeted and more efficient treatment options.

Our response

Medical devices and systems for real-time monitoring of health and wellbeing

Through our Probing Biosystems Future Science Platform, we are working to develop game-changing medical devices to obtain real-time information about health and wellbeing, and provide health and medical interventions that are timely, customised, and highly specific.

The platform is currently focussed on the areas of diagnostics, theranostics, and wearable and implantable technologies.

In 2019, we announced a $5.1M theranostics research partnership with one of Australia's largest cancer care providers, GenesisCare. Through this project, our scientists will work to develop new theranostic cancer treatments for some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. This involves identifying the unique signatures of specific cancer cells, and then developing special molecules that can show the exact location of cancer cells and deliver targeted radiation to only those cells. If successful, new treatments could be trialled through GenesisCare's local clinical networks, giving Australian cancer patients earlier access to new treatments.

Probing Biosystems v3

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo appears]

[Image changes and text appears: Probing Biosystems, A revolution in healthcare]

[Image appears of a life expectancy graph showing life expectancy growing from 30 to 80 years]

Narrator: In the 20th Century life expectancy doubled. 

[Image shows the graph going to 160 years and text appears: 160 years?]

If we want to double it again we’ll need to catch health problems

[Image changes to show the screen covered with yellow dots and a black dot and target symbol appears in the centre of the screen]

long before they appear. 

[Image changes to show the CSIRO logo and then the camera zooms out and text appears beneath the logo: Probing Biosystems]

That’s why at CSIRO we are investing millions in Probing Biosystems. 

[Image changes to show an animation image of a person running with connectivity dots at points throughout the body and then the animation image of the person moves faster and faster]

An ambitious effort to measure the human body in real time to improve health

[Text appears: Longer Better Lives]

for longer and better lives. 

[Music plays and the image changes to show two animation image bike riders and sensor points are highlighted on their bodies]

We’re working on wearable and implantable sensors to detect health problems early

[Image moves to the left and an animation image of a person with a stethoscope appears on the right-hand side of the screen]

and send live updates to your Doctor. 

[Music plays and the image changes to show an outline adult holding a breath test device up to a child and then a tick appears above the child and the child jumps up and down]

A breath test to predict asthma attacks hours before they happen

[Image changes to show a graph tracking ageing and an animation image of an elderly male pops up on the graph doing a saliva test and text appears: Consult Doctor]

and a better way to track ageing using new routine saliva tests instead of infrequent blood tests to collect more and better data. 

[Image changes to show an animation image of test tubes, a mouse and a microscope and then the image of the mouse disappears and four petri dishes appear]

We’re developing new technology to replace animal testing

[Camera zooms in on the petri dishes and a brain and a gut appear in two of the petri dishes]

with lab grown organoids like a tiny brain and a tiny gut

[Image shows a tablet entering the brain and then the gut and a tick appearing above the brain and the gut]

for faster more accurate drug trials that bring innovations to market sooner. 

[Image changes to show an outline head with a brain inside and then the camera zooms out to show the whole person and a laptop and a doctor appear to the left of the person]

And we’re creating new treatments like a gel that helps to monitor brain tumours after surgery

[Camera zooms in on the laptop and the person’s head and waves appear between the laptop and the person’s head]

and releases personalised medicine by a remote control. 

[Image changes to show an outline image of a person made up of dots and then the image moves to the left and an outline image of a hen appears to the right]

Information will be keyed to making humans and the animals we depend on healthier in the 21st Century

[Image changes to show a circle which enlarges and text appears inside: Probing Biosystems]

and Probing Biosystems will deliver data

[Image changes to show an animation image of a runner running from the left to the right of the screen]

as we strive to improve life quality

[Image moves to the left and a birthday cake with “100” on the top of it and a group of people cheering appears on the right-hand side of the screen]

together with life expectancy. 

[Image then reduces in size to fit inside a circle and five other circles appear rotating around a central circle and text headings appear inside the circles: Future Science Platforms, Probing Biosystems, Synthetic Biology, Deep Earth Imaging, Digiscape, Environomics, Active Integrated Matter]

It’s all part of CSIRO’s future science platforms.  A multi-year, multi-disciplinary investment in our collective future.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: We Imagine, We Collaborate, We Innovate,]

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