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

This nine-day “Bootcamp” style course will cover fundamental concepts and practical approaches in understanding cellular functions. The focus is to develop a breadth of knowledge in quantitative techniques to allow bioscience researchers to pursue further depth in their respective research work. Major topics include: gene editing, cellular structure and processes, statistics, bio-imaging, image analysis, modelling, and quantitative methods in biology. There will be extensive tutorials in using Matlab, complemented by hands-on microscopy and wet-lab sessions. Students will work as part of a team to tackle problems and to develop a report on an open area of modern bioscience research.

SMART-BioSyM advances cancer therapy – Tumour Treating Fields – with a novel microfluidic device

- Tumour Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, alternating electric fields that disrupt cell division through physical interactions with key molecules during mitosis. This non-invasive treatment targets solid tumours and has been FDA-approved for Glioblastoma (brain cancer).


- SMART innovation - 3D microfluidic device with embedded electrodes - enables the application of an electric field therapy to single or aggregated cancer cells in a 3D microenvironment. This not only expedites and lowers the cost of the entire research process, but also renders customised therapy a reality as patient’s own cancer cell can be injected into the microfluidic device and tested.

Details published in Engineering a 3D microfluidic culture platform for tumor-treating field application", Scientific Reports

(Top, L to R): PDMS microfluidic device with embedded electrodes; Lung cancer aggregates in the 3D hydrogel within device, in co-culture with non-cancerous cells; Injecting lung cancer cells into device (Bottom pix): Researchers Andrea and Giulia showing images of stimulated & dispersed non-stimulated cancer aggregates

Guided by quantum chemical calculations, BioSyM researchers, Liu Xiaogang (SMART Scholar) and Matthew Lang (PI), in collaboration with scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences, have demonstrated a simple chemical substittution that greatly enhances fluorophore performance. They also revealed two major mechanisms that compromise the brightness and photostability of fluorophores. Such knowledge is a critical step towards developing high-performance fluorophores for advanced fluorescence imaging. Their results have been published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, one of the most prestigious chemistry journals.

X. Liu*, Q. Qiao, W. Tian, W. Liu, J. Chen, M. J. Lang, Z. Xu*, “Aziridinyl fluorophores demonstrate bright fluorescence and superior photostability through effectively inhibiting twisted intramolecular charge transfer”, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b03924.

 

 

 

 

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Events

BioSyM Seminar

29 July 2016, Friday, 12 noon -1 pm

Professor Matthew J. Lang (Vanderbilt University)

Mechanosensing by the αβ T Cell Receptor

Venue: Perseverance Rooms, Enterprise Wing L5, UTown

Recent Publications

  1. "Liquid biopsy and therapeutic response: Circulating tumor cell cultures for evaluation of anticancer treatment", Science Advances
  2. “Aziridinyl fluorophores demonstrate bright fluorescence and superior photostability through effectively inhibiting twisted intramolecular charge transfer”, Journal of American Chemical Society
  3. "Microfluidic models for adoptive cell-mediated cancer immunotherapies", Drug Discovery Today
  4. "Mechanical properties of the superficial biofilm layer determine the architecture of biofilm", Soft Matter
  5. Engineering a 3D microfluidic culture platform for tumor-treating field application", Scientific Reports
  6. "Mechanical signatures of microbial biofilms in micropillar-embedded growth chambers", Soft Matter
  7. "The polymer physics of single DNA confined in nanochannels" Advances in Colloid and Interface Science
  8. "M2a macrophages induce contact-dependent dispersion of carcinoma cell aggregates", Macrophage
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    ...................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