A*STAR Outstanding Publications Award 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013
A*STAR Patent Power Award 2009 and 2010
Singapore HEALTH Award (Platinum) 2012, (Gold) 2008 and 2010
First ARKRAY overseas R&D center to be incubated in Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
New research partnership targets disease diagnostics
May 22, 2013 –ARKRAY, Inc. has set up its first Asian research center outside Japan in Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN). The company will invest $9.1 million over a 5-year period in this research venture and collaboration
Professor Jackie Y. Ying, Executive Director of IBN said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with ARKRAY, which has a long history of leadership in medical technology. IBN identifies with ARKRAY’s vision of improving lives through scientific advancement and new technological discoveries. We are confident that our collaboration with ARKRAY will lead to new devices and advanced instruments for disease detection and monitoring.”
Mr Takeshi Matsuda, President and CEO of ARKRAY shared, “ARKRAY is excited to embark on this new venture with IBN. We have chosen to set up our newest research center in Singapore because of IBN’s distinguished knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of scientific fields, and we believe we can find a lot of opportunities to produce synergy with IBN through a long-term relationship.”
Biomaterials: A Robust Cure for a Fungal Eye Infection
Stable, inexpensive and easy-to-prepare active ingredients for topical treatments effectively clear a fungal eye infection
Microscope images of a mouse eye (left) show that the polymeric imidazolium compound PIM-45 protects the cornea by reducing fungal invasion into the cornea (right; fungi are stained black).
© 2013 A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
May 8, 2013 – Pathogenic microbes that become encased within a protective and adhesive polymeric coating, forming a biofilm, are among the most difficult forms of infections to treat. Fungal keratitis, for example, is a common form of eye infection caused by fungi that can form a biofilm on the patient's cornea, which if left untreated may lead to blindness. A novel pair of antifungal compounds that clear these biofilms more effectively than existing treatments has now been developed by researchers led by Dr Yugen Zhang and Prof Jackie Ying at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.
Zhang, Ying and co-workers developed their compounds from a family of antimicrobial materials called amphiphilic polymers. These materials incorporate both polar and non-polar subunits, a characteristic that is crucial to their function: the polar group helps to anchor the polymer to the microbe's charged surface, which allows the non-polar tail to then penetrate and rupture the microbe's lipid membrane. The researchers’ compounds incorporated a polar unit called an imidazolium group. Interestingly, previously developed imidazolium-based amphiphilic structures simply featured a long-chain non-polar tail. However, in a modification to the usual design, Zhang and Ying’s team developed short-chain amphiphilic materials consisting of repeating polar and non-polar subunits.
Antimicrobial Materials: Pathogen-Proof Surfaces for Better Health
A Hydrogel with Potent Antibacterial Activity Promises to Protect Hospital Patients from Difficult-to-Treat Infections
An antibacterial hydrogel coated onto the center of a Petri dish (left) prevents bacterial growth, whereas an untreated Petri dish (right) is completely covered with bacteria.
© 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
April 24, 2013 – Coating medical supplies with an antimicrobial material is one approach that bioengineers are using to combat the increasing spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and related pathogens, for example, can lengthen hospital stay and even cause death. A research team at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore has now developed a highly effective antimicrobial coating based on polymers1. The coating can be applied to medical equipment, such as catheters, explains Dr Yi-Yan Yang, who led the research.
Dr Yang’s coating was inspired by a well-known family of antimicrobial materials called cationic polymers. On contact, these materials kill microbes by attaching to, infiltrating and ultimately rupturing their cell walls. When these polymers are modified to form a coating, however, their antimicrobial activity is usually compromised. They also tend to accumulate a layer of dead microorganisms on their surface. “This can trigger an immune response and inflammation in the patient, and may also block the antimicrobial function of the coating,” Dr Yang explains.
IBN in the News
Japan's ARKRAY Sets Up First Overseas Research Centre In Singapore
Bernama, 22 May 2013
Biomaterials: A Robust Cure for a Fungal Eye Infection
A*STAR Research, 08 May 2013
A Hydrogel with Potent Antibacterial Activity Promises Protection from Difficult-to-Treat Infections
Nanowerk, 24 Apr 2013
8 Dec - 11 Dec
3rd Nano Today Conference
NEW! Mesoporous Poly(Melamine–Formaldehyde) Solid Sorbent for Carbon Dioxide Capture
(IF: 6.827) article
NEW! Synthesis of Cyclic Carbonates with Carbon Dioxide and Cesium Carbonate
Green Chemistry, (2013)
(IF: 6.320) article
NEW! Construction of Block Copolymers for the Coordinated Delivery of Doxorubicin and Magnetite Nanocubes
Journal of Controlled Release, 169 (2013) 211-219.
(IF: 6.499) article