Sydney Analytical launches world-class facility for researchers

16 July 2018
The University of Sydney unveils its newest core facility, Sydney Analytical, with capabilities in spectroscopy, x-ray analysis, chemical characterisation, training and access for industry.
The 2500-year-old mummy Mer-Neith-it-es will be one of the first objects analysed by new micro XRF equipment.

The 2500-year-old mummy Mer-Neith-it-es will be one of the first objects analysed by new micro XRF equipment.


Need to investigate the remains inside a mummy’s coffin, analyse microplastic pollution or characterise new drugs? We’ve got you covered.

The University of Sydney’s newest core research facility, Sydney Analytical, launches on 17 July.

As seen on the ABC’s 730 and National Geographic, the coffin of the Egyptian mummy Mer-Neith-it-es from the Nicholson Museum Collection was one of the first objects to be analysed using a range of Sydney Analytical portable instruments, including vibrational spectroscopy equipment and micro x-ray-fluorescence (XRF).

The facility has already informed investigations into the origins of microplastics in Sydney Harbour and contributed to research underpinning significant start-up companies in such diverse areas a skin repair and new batteries.

"We’re delighted to officially launch Sydney Analytical and the infrastructure, tools and technical support that it brings to the University," said Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

"Our investment in core research facilities supports our researchers who rely on the most modern equipment to further their findings and stay at the top of their game."

Services available at Sydney Analytical

Sydney Analytical is investigating microplastic pollution in Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Analytical is investigating microplastic pollution in Sydney Harbour.

The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology to provide researchers and industry with some of the most advanced instrumentation for material, chemical and biological analysis. Unique to Sydney Analytical is the capability to do simple characterisation for industry through to advanced imaging of materials, tissues and cells.

With research capabilities including vibrational spectroscopy, drug discovery infrastructure, x-ray analysis, and services including training courses, commercial consulting, support for synchrotron and neutron beamlines, and more, researchers can access the facilities for their projects.

Exciting equipment in the pipeline

Sydney Analytical is now in the process of purchasing micro XRF mapping equipment (The Bruker Artax) that will be the first of its kind in Australia and will radically transform cultural heritage analyses.

Artax will allow mapping of chemical composition across large objects, including museum pieces and artworks. Many state and national galleries, museums and other institutions will directly benefit from having access to this kind of technology.

The micro XRF equipment will place Sydney Analytical on the world stage in the analysis of cultural artefacts with the potential to impact on fields as diverse as geoscience, archaeology, agriculture and forensic science.

There are also plans to develop a world-class robotically controlled facility for rapid early-stage drug development, using disruptive technologies in partnership with a global industry leader in healthcare.

This facility will add to other biomedical capabilities for studies such as metabolomics and lipidomics for disease diagnosis, understanding the biochemistry of diseases and physiological processes, drug discovery and dietary effects on health.

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