This Centre brings together scientists and engineers to pursue translational research and develop practical applications to improve human health and well-being. It also supports staff capability development as well as teaching and learning activities by providing the necessary platforms and expertise
About the Centre
This is a multi-disciplinary centre focusing on the development of BioMEMS (Biomedical micro-electro-mechanical systems) based healthcare devices and systems. The centre continuously grows its research & development (R&D) capabilities in biosensors, microfluidics, and wearable healthcare sensors.
The Centre has secured various competitive R&D grants and established strategic partnerships with industry companies and research institutes, and has strong capabilities in developing innovative devices and systems from concept to field-deployable prototypes.
The Centre focuses on developing BioMEMS (Biomedical micro-electro-mechanical systems) based innovative devices for healthcare applications:
Biosensor for point-of-care diagnostics
- Localised Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) biosensors
- Microelectrode biosensors
- Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) biosensors
Microfluidic devices for miniaturised chemical and biological testing
- Development of microfluidic devices with integrated functional components
- Development of new chemical/biological testing protocols on a microfluidic platform
- Fabrication of microfluidic products using industrial-standard materials and methods
Wearable sensors for healthcare applications
- Development of a wide range of microfluidic pressure sensors for healthcare applications from TCM Pulse Analyzer to ‘Tui Na’ Robot
- Development of flexible pressure sensors based on different conductive materials
- Development of intelligent wearable healthcare products
A Plasmonic Biosensor-Based Point-of-Care System
Sepsis is a condition caused by severe bacterial infection, posing a significant threat to global health. The point-of-care (POC) system for rapid diagnosis of sepsis uses a novel gold nanopillar-enhanced immunoassay to measure procalcitonin (PCT), a biomarker indicating bacterial infection in human serum. Results show that this system can achieve equal sensitivity to usual laboratory methods while shortening the total detection time from 2 hours to just 30 minutes. Rapid and accurate diagnosis will result in better antibiotic therapies and reduced mortality from sepsis.
This project, which was done in collaboration with the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)-A*STAR and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, won the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award in 2016.
A Point-of-Care System for Quick Urinary Tract Infection Diagnostics (SQUID)
This is a point-of-care system integrated with microfluidic delivery sub-system, temperature control unit and DEP on-chip concentration module which can detect E.Coli at a concentration level of 105 CFU/ml. A sandwiched immunoassay was developed on a micro-fabricated biosensor chip for UTI E.Coli detection. The biosensor chip fabrication process and surface modification protocol were optimised, and the biosensor-based immunoassay was transferred onto the microfluidic platform. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) technology was used on concentrated E.Coli, and this increased the local concentration of bacteria by more than 1000 folds, allowing for quicker and easier detection.
A Hand-held Biosensor System for Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Influenza
This project involved the development of a highly sensitive handheld SAW biosensor system for diagnosing influenza at the point-of-care. The system is based on the LW biosensor chip developed by Dr Yao Kui’s team. The patented technology was transformed from a laboratory setup into a market-compatible handheld system. Apart from the LW biosensor chip production, a number of additional tasks had to be performed when considering a market-compatible overall system, such as (a) LW biosensor chip package design and development; (b) integration with fluidic channels; and (c) electronic circuit design for signal detection and analysis.
Centrifugal Microfluidic Immunoassay Device for Rapid Pathogen Detection
This project involved the development of a novel immunoassay device based on centrifugal microfluidics for rapid and cost-effective pathogen detection. The device relies on centrifugal force from spinning platforms such as centrifuge machine or CD-ROM to drive fluid movement. Various fluidic functions such as valving, decanting, calibration, mixing, metering, sample splitting, and separation, can be implemented on the platform. The diagnostic assay can be performed in most clinical and research laboratories without the requirements of highly skilled personnel and expensive equipment.
Droplet Microfluidic Device for Molecular Diagnosis
Droplet-based molecular diagnosis is an emerging new medical technology. Standard diagnosis protocol includes droplet generation, reaction, and signal analysis. In most commercial systems, these steps must be performed separately, which reduce the convenience in usage and make the results prone to mistake. This a microfluidic device overcomes the limits of most commercial products. Through integration of several innovative designs, droplet generation and analysis can be achieved on a single chip. A special process to mass-produce the chip using industrial methodologies was also developed to reduce the cost and facilitate the commercialisation of the final products. With these inventions, the labour and cost of molecular diagnosis can be greatly reduced, thus allowing more people to benefit from this new technology.
Microfluidics-Based Flexible Tactile Sensors for Robotic Arm Collision Detection
Artificial skin with microfluidics-based tactile sensors is embedded into robots. The skin will estimate contact force and enable the robot to handle both unintentional collisions in safe human-robot collaboration tasks as well as intentional touches where it is used as a human-machine interface. In addition, the artificial skin can be offered as a solution platform that can be upgraded to perform collision detection with minor modification on any robotic hardware.
Design and Prototyping Artificial Skin for TCM Tui Na Robot
This project aims to design and fabricate a flexible tactile sensor array and integrate the fabricated sensor array to a Tui Na robot palm for detecting bones and measuring muscle stiffness in patients.
Wearable TCM Pulse Analyser
This project aims to develop a wearable Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pulse analyser enabled with artificial intelligence for self-monitoring of illnesses. The device mimics a TCM physician palpating artery pulses on the wrist and analyses various pulse characteristics to provide a diagnosis both qualitatively and quantitatively. The embedded artificial intelligence will also greatly improve diagnosis accuracy. Sensitive, accurate, and compact microfluidic-based pressure sensors make the analyser small and potentially wearable.
Publications in the Media
An article featuring a revolutionary blood testing system prototype jointly developed by Temasek Polytechnic, A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), which can accelerate medical diagnosis, was featured in Lianhe Zaobao on 12 Aug 2016.
Dr Sun Ling Ling
Tel: 6780 6624
Qualifications: B.Eng, Ph.D
Areas of Specialisation: Microfabrication, Biosensors and Microfluidics
Mr Er Jui Pin
Tel: 6780 6628
Qualifications: B.Eng, M.Sc, MBA
Area of Specialisation: Electronics, Embedded System, Project Management
Dr Zhang Hua
Tel: 6780 6611
Qualifications: B.Sc, M.Eng, Ph.D
Area of Specialisation: Embedded System & Control, Power Electronics & Drivers
Mr Lin Liutong
Tel: 6780 5575
Qualifications: B.Eng, M.Eng, M.Sc
Areas of Specialisation: Mechanical CAD/CAM, Product & Mould Design and Fabrication
Dr Wang Yanmei
Tel: 6780 5695
Areas of Specialisation: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chem-sensors, Bio-sensors
Dr Zhu Hong
Tel: 6780 5462
Qualifications: B.Eng, M.Eng, Ph.D
Area of Specialisation: MEMS, Sensors, IC Fabrication, LED Chip Fabrication
Dr Fu Yi
Tel: 6780 6634
Qualifications: B.Eng, Ph.D
Areas of Specialisation: Microfluidics, Biomedical Engineering
Ms Tong Shimeng
Tel: 6780 5536
Qualifications: B.Eng, M.Sc
Areas of Specialisation: Material Science, Biomedical Engineering, Regulatory and QMS
Mr Teo Ngee Poh
Tel: 6780 6630
Areas of Specialisation: Mech / ME & Production Engineering
Mr Willie Ng Lai Chai
Tel: 6780 5915
Qualifications: B.Eng, M.Sc
Areas of Specialisation: Electronics, Bioinstrumentation, System Integration
Ms Lim Shu Hui Jasmine
Senior Research Executive
Tel: 6780 6695
Areas of Specialisation: Chemistry