A*STAR Outstanding Publications Award
2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016
A*STAR Patent Power Award
2009 and 2010
Singapore HEALTH Award
(Platinum) 2012, (Gold) 2008 and 2010
Ringing the Changes
Subtle variations in size, shape and electronic properties of ring-shaped molecules, known as macrocycles, lead to changes in ion-selectivity
From left: Dr Jie Shen, Dr Huaqiang Zeng and Dr Changliang Ren from IBN.
August 10, 2016 – Selective ion transport is the foundation of water purification technology, as well as underpinning a range of biological effects — such as the function of nerves — and diagnostic technologies that use ion-sensitive electrodes to detect abnormalities in biological fluids. Now A*STAR researchers have invented a new synthetic ion recognition system and found a way to fine-tune the selectivity of the system that will benefit many applications.
The ability to pick out one type among many metal ions is vital in many fields. Ring-shaped molecules — known as macrocycles — have long been used as synthetic ion recognition systems. The ion binding properties of the macrocycles are defined by the size and shape of their internal cavity and how well this matches with the desired metal ion.
Now, Dr Huaqiang Zeng from the A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and colleagues from China, have designed a series of macrocycles assembled from five building blocks.
A New Way of Looking at Cancer
The IBN researchers who discovered that the circulating cell clusters commonly found in cancer patients come from the blood vessels that line the tumor rather than from the tumor itself. Front row (left to right): Dr Min-Han Tan, Dr Nur-Afidah Mohamed Suhaimi, Ms Jess Vo, Dr Poh Koon Koh and Prof Jackie Y. Ying. Back row (left to right): Dr Ciprian Iliescu, Dr Wai Min Phyo, Dr Min Hu and Mr Daniel Lee. © Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
July 8, 2016 – Clusters of circulating cells commonly found in the blood of cancer patients have long been the subject of research on cancer. These clusters have been regarded for more than 50 years as malignant cells that have broken off from the primary tumor, spreading cancer to other parts of the body. Now, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR have reported that these clusters are unlike what others have assumed previously, potentially opening up new ways to detect and inhibit the spread of cancer.
Due to the technical challenges of separating these clusters from normal blood cells, limited research has been performed on these clusters. The working assumption was that these cell clusters are malignant cells from the tumor.
A national research team led by Dr Min-Han Tan, Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist at IBN, has shown that these cell clusters come from the blood vessels that line the tumor rather than from the tumor itself. The team includes researchers from IBN, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore, Concord Cancer Hospital, National University of Singapore, National Cancer Centre Singapore, and Singapore General Hospital.
Supergelators Hold Key to More Effective Oil Spill Cleanup
IBN’s smart oil-scavenging material forms 3D net to trap oil molecules
The IBN research team who invented the smart oil-scavenging material (clockwise from bottom left: Dr Changliang Ren, Dr Hong Wu, Dr Jie Shen, Dr Huaqiang Zeng and Prof Jackie Y. Ying). © Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
June 17, 2016 – Large-scale oil spills, where hundreds of tons of petroleum products are accidentally released into the oceans, not only have devastating effects on the environment, but have significant socio-economic impact as well.
Current techniques of cleaning up oil spills are not very efficient and may even cause further pollution or damage to the environment. These methods, which include the use of toxic detergent-like compounds called dispersants or burning of the oil slick, result in incomplete removal of the oil. The oil molecules remain in the water over long periods and may even be spread over a larger area as they are carried by wind and waves. Further, burning can only be applied to fresh oil slicks of at least 3 millimeters thick, and this process would also cause secondary environmental pollution.
In a bid to improve the technology utilized by cleanup crews to manage and contain such large spills, researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR have invented a smart oil-scavenging material or supergelators that could help clean up oil spills efficiently and rapidly to prevent secondary pollution.
IBN in the News
Taking the Fight to the Enemy with Lab-Grown Tumours
The Straits Times, 24 Aug 2016
How the Body Makes Pipes
A*STAR Research, 10 Aug 2016
The Search of the Perfect Antiviral Has Taken A New Step Forward
Popular Science, 09 Aug 2016
Long-Term Subconjunctival Delivery of Brimonidine Tartrate for Glaucoma Treatment Using a Microspheres/Carrier System
Advanced Healthcare Materials, (2016)
(IF: 5.760) article
Transparent Crosslinked Ultrashort Peptide Hydrogel Dressing with High Shape-Fidelity Accelerates Healing of Full-Thickness Excision Wounds
Scientific Reports, 6 (2016) 32670.
(IF: 5.228) article
Highly Selective Deoxydehydration of Tartaric Acid over Supported and Unsupported Rhenium Catalysts with Modified Acidities
Highly Selective Deoxydehydration of Tartaric Acid over, (2016)
(IF: 7.116) article