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 Post-Doc Dr.Khoo Bee Luan is now in the honorable list of 2018’s 10 ‘Innovators Under 35 Asia’

About Khoo Bee Luan

Dr Khoo Bee Luan is a biomedical scientist focused on innovating microfluidic devices for clinical utility. She leads a research team under the Young Investigator grant award by NMRC to utilise a microfluidic device for cancer management and evaluation, termed as the circulating tumour cell (CTC) Cluster Assay. The CTC Cluster Assay aims to mimic parts of the tumour microenvironment in vitro by integrating a confined fluidic niche using microwells with hypoxia and tumour-associated immune cells. She has also developed microfluidic biochips for isolation of primary cancer cells, diseased blood cells or malaria-infected cells with relevance to early disease detection.

Mechanistic action of weak acid drugs on Biofilms (Scientific Reports, 7; 4783 (2017)): BioSyM and SCELSE (NTU) researchers have studied the efficacy of weak organic acid drug on the eradication of biofilms formed by the mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and investigated the commonality of this drug with that of acetic acid. It is shown that the weak acid can penetrate the biofilm matrix and eventually kill 100% of the bacteria embedded in the biofilm.

(A) Schematic of a flow cell. (B) Biofilms are grown in flow cells with a glass base and a PDMS top with a continuous supply of 10% Luria-Bertani broth (LB). The drug is injected into the flow cell through the PDMS Microcolonies grow on the glass base to a size of approximately 200 μm after a period of 2 days.

A 3D microfluidic model for preclinical evaluation of TCR-engineered T Cells against solid tumors: BioSyM researchers and collaborators from Duke-NUS, A-STAR (IMCB, SICS) demonstrate an easily reproducible and simple system to test whether TCR-engineered T cells can overcome the physical and metabolicbarriers present in the tumor microenvironment. The system is composed of a microdevice-based cellular assay in which cancer cells and T cells interact in a 3D space. Conditions can be precisely regulated and the ability of distinct preparations of engineered T cells to reach and kill cancer cells can be tracked over time. We demonstrate that this 3D microdevice assay can measure the antitumor efficacy of TCR-engineered T cells and that it can be easily customized to study the effect of specific biological conditions and clinical scenarios on their function.

Andrea Pavesi (SMART/A*STAR-IMCB), Anthony T Tan (Duke-NUS), S.Koh (A*STAR-SICS), M.Colombo, E.Antonecchia, Carlo M, Giulia Adriani (SMART), M.T.Raimondi, R.D.Kamm (SMART/MIT), Antonio Bertoletti (Duke-NUS)/A*STAR-SICS), A 3D microfluidic model for preclinical evaluation of TCR-engineered T Cells against solid tumors, JCI Insight, June (2017)






......More BioSyM Highlights









BioSyM Seminar Series 2018

Testing anti-angiogenic potency of novel compounds in a 3D microfluidic assay and in a Zebrafish model

Annalisa Mercurio (SMART)

12/March/2018, Monday @ 12 noon - 1 pm

CREATE Enterprise Level 5, Perseverance Rooms, UTown

Recent Publications

  1. "Microdevices for Non-Invasive Detection of Bladder Cancer", Chemosensors
  2. Probing eukaryotic cell mechanics via mesoscopic simulations PLOS Computational Biology
  3. A Mini-Review on Thalidomide: Chemistry, Mechanisms of Action, Therapeutic Potential and Anti-Angiogenic Properties in Multiple Myeloma." Current medicinal chemistry
  4. Nanoconfinement greatly speeds up the nucleation and the annealing in single-DNA collapse, Soft matter
  5. Ground-State Conformers Enable Bright Single-Fluorophore Ratiometric Thermometers with Positive Temperature CoefficientsMaterials Chemistry Frontiers
  6. Mechanistic action of weak acid  drugs on biofilms” Scientific Reports
  7. Superfast maximum-likelihood reconstruction for quantum tomography", Phys. Rev. A
  8. In Vitro Micropatterned Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Test for Morphometric based Teratogen Screening, 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