Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology

BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) Inter-Disciplinary Research Group

  • BioSyM brings together a multidisciplinary team of faculties and researchers from MIT and the Universities and Research Institutes of Singapore. Our research deals with the development of new technologies to address critical medical and biological questions applicable to a variety of diseases. We aim to provide novel solutions to the healthcare industry and to the broader research infrastructure in Singapore.

  • The guiding tenet of BioSyM is that accelerated progress in biology and medicine will critically depend upon the development of modern analytical methods and tools that provide a deep understanding of the interactions between mechanics and biology at multiple length scales – from molecules to cells to tissues – that impact maintenance or disruption of human health.

BioSyM Highlights


BioSyM research published in Lab Chip, 17, 448, (2017):A 3D neurovascular microfluidic model consisting of neurons, astrocytes and cerebral endothelial cells as a blood–brain barrier

BioSym researchers (Giulia, Andrea & Roger) along with collaborators from Duke-NUS report a novel 3D neurovascular microfluidic model consisting of primary rat astrocytes and neurons together with human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells. These three cell types in our neurovascular chip (NVC) show distinct cell type-specific morphological characteristics and functional properties. In particular, morphological and functional analysis of neurons enables quantitative assessment of neuronal responses, while human cerebral endothelial cells form monolayers with size-selective permeability similar to existing in vitro blood–brain barrier (BBB) models.

Neurovascular unit. (A) Schematic representation showing blood vessels, astrocytes and neurons within the brain tissue. The inset shows the selectivity of the endothelial monolayer. (B) Scheme of the four channels in the neurovascular chip (NVC) and the location of the three different cell types. From left to right: medium (pink), neurons (orange), astrocytes (blue), and endothelial cells (green). (A) Device with gel channels filled with food dye for visualization purposes (left), schematic layout of the 3D neurovascular chip (NVC) and enlarged view of the channels: two central hydrogel regions for co-culturing astrocytes (blue) and neurons (orange) and two sidechannels for hosting endothelial cells and media (green and red, respectively). (B) Timeline of the experiment. (C) Phase contrast images showing growth of primary neurons, primary astrocytes and endothelial cells (HUVEC and hCMEC/D3), in their respective microfluidic channels.



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BioSyM Seminar Series 2017

Role of Jag1 Extracellular Vesicles on Angiogenesis

Evan Tan (DBS, NUS / SMART)

24th April 2017, Monday; 12 noon

Perseverance Room, Level 5, Enterprise Wing, 1 CREATE Way, NUS UTown

Recent Publications

  1. "A 3D neurovascular microfluidic model consisting of neurons, astrocytes and cerebral endothelial
    cells as a blood–brain barrier
    ", Lab Chip
  2. "Multiple signal classification algorithm for super-resolution fluorescence microscopy", Nature Communications
  3. "Effects of Intrachain Interactions on the Knot Size of a Polymer", Macromolecules
  4. “Warburg metabolism in tumor-conditioned macrophages promotes metastasis in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma”, Oncoimmunology
  5. "Liquid biopsy and therapeutic response: Circulating tumor cell cultures for evaluation of anticancer treatment", Science Advances
  6. “Aziridinyl fluorophores demonstrate bright fluorescence and superior photostability through effectively inhibiting twisted intramolecular charge transfer”, Journal of American Chemical Society
  7. "Microfluidic models for adoptive cell-mediated cancer immunotherapies", Drug Discovery Today
  8. "Mechanical properties of the superficial biofilm layer determine the architecture of biofilm", Soft Matter
  9. Engineering a 3D microfluidic culture platform for tumor-treating field application", Scientific Reports

    ...................Publications (Full List)

Our people

Meet the Principal Investigators, Collaborators, researchers, students and staff of SMART-BioSyM

Our research

Read about our research thrusts/projects, lab facilities and publications