A*STAR Outstanding Publications Award 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014
A*STAR Patent Power Award 2009 and 2010
Singapore HEALTH Award (Platinum) 2012, (Gold) 2008 and 2010

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INNOVATIONS FOR TOMORROW

Announcements

More Efficient DNA Technology for Targeted Disease Detection and Treatment


The IBN researchers who invented the more efficient DNA aptamer technology (from left: Mr Ken-ichiro Matsunaga, Dr Ichiro Hirao and Dr Michiko Kimoto).

February 1, 2016 – A more efficient DNA technology to detect and treat infectious diseases and cancer has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR. The researchers improved on existing technologies to create a modified single-stranded DNA molecule called aptamer. DNA aptamers are ideal for pharmaceutical applications because they can specifically bind to any molecular target in the body such as proteins, viruses, bacteria and cells.

Once DNA aptamers are artificially generated for each target, they will bind to it and inhibit its activity. This makes DNA aptamers a promising technology for disease detection and drug delivery. But no DNA aptamers have been approved for clinical use yet because current aptamers do not bind well to molecular targets and are easily digested by enzymes.

Read more.

International Collaboration to Advance Research on Non-Animal Approaches to Chemical Safety Testing
A*STAR and the US EPA to co-develop innovative methods to assess and predict the safety of chemicals, without relying on animal testing

January 25, 2016 – Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are partnering to develop new approaches to identify chemicals that could pose a risk to human health.

Tens of thousands of chemicals are currently in use, and many are essential to modern life. For example, preservatives protect food from harmful microbial contamination; sunscreen filters protect against skin cancer; surfactants in soaps, shower gels, shampoos and washing detergents help to remove dirt and grease.

Scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Bioinformatics Institute, and Singapore Immunology Network, and researchers from the EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology are interested in collaborating on three areas of research: kidney toxicity, liver toxicity and developmental toxicity.

Read more.

Singapore Researchers Develop World’s First High-Throughput Imaging Platform for Predicting Kidney Toxicity


BII and IBN researchers who developed the world’s first high-throughput imaging platform for predicting kidney toxicity (from left: Dr Ran Su, Dr Lit-Hsin Loo, Dr Daniele Zink and Dr Sijing Xiong).

January 18, 2016 – Researchers at A*STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute (BII) and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed a highly efficient and accurate cellular imaging platform for predicting the toxicity of compounds to the kidney. The approach, which combines cell culture, imaging and computational methods, could prove invaluable to companies from the food, nutrition, cosmetics, consumer care, chemical and pharmaceutical industries by enabling them to predict the safety of their products while in development.

Chemical compounds, which may originate from medicine, food or even the environment, could injure the kidney and impair its function of eliminating waste from the body. About 20% of hospital or community acquired cases of acute kidney injury can be attributed to nephrotoxic drugs. Currently there is no accurate method for screening large numbers of potentially nephrotoxic compounds with diverse chemical structures.

Read more.

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IBN in the News

Scientists Improve DNA Technology for Detecting, Treating Disease
Medical News Today, 08 Feb 2016

Push for Animal-Free Chemical Safety Tests
The Straits Times, 05 Feb 2016

Automated Kidney Test Does Away with Animals
The Straits Times, 05 Feb 2016

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FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

Target Identification of Natural and Traditional Medicines with Quantitative Chemical Proteomics Approaches
Pharmacology & Therapeutics, (2016)
DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2016.01.010.
(IF: 9.723) article

Targeting Warburg Effect in Cancers with PEGylated Glucose
Advanced Healthcare Materials, (2016)
DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201500613.
(IF: 5.797) article

Highly Efficient Process for the Conversion of Glycerol to Acrylic Acid via Gas Phase Catalytic Oxidation of an Allyl Alcohol Intermediate
ACS Catalysis, 6[1] (2016) 143–150.
(IF: 9.312) article

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