Cell Based Diagnostics & Therapy

Project Description

While there are developed biochemical and biological assays to detect the onset or presence of diseases, there is always a need to develop more rapid, precise, and sensitive methods. Using our mechanobio-inspired platforms in microfluidics developed for rare cell separation, we applied them to cancer and sepsis. For patients with metastatic cancer, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are rare events found in the peripheral blood. Here, collaborating with oncologists, we successfully obtain CTCs from cancer patients, determine any druggable mutations, propose the best therapies to administer as well as monitor the patients’ response over the course of treatment. It is hope that this can lead to more precise and personalized therapy. We also developed a novel culture assay to ex vivo expand clinically obtained CTCs with the aim of predicting the response of cancer patients to anticancer therapy. For sepsis, we demonstrate an effective extracorporeal removal of bacteria from whole blood using our cell margination microfluidic biochip which can marginate the stiffer bacteria to the wall of a long microchannel for subsequent removal.

Selected Publications

1. Expansion of patient-derived circulating tumor cells from liquid biopsies using a CTC microfluidic culture device

Khoo, B L, et al., Nature Protocols, 13, 34-58, 2018.Abstract

2. An extracellular matrix-related prognostic and predictive indicator for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer

Lim, S B, et al., Oncotarget, Nature Communications, 1734, 2017.Article

3. Expansion of breast circulating cancer cells predicts response to anti-cancer therapy

Khoo, B L, et al., Oncotarget, 6, 17, 15578-15593, 2015.Abstract

4. Microfluidics for research and applications in oncology

Chaudhuri, P K, et al., Analyst, 2015.Abstract

5. An ultra-high throughput spiral microfluidic biochip for the enrichment of circulating tumor cells

Majid, et al., Analyst, 139, 3245-3255, 2014.Abstract

6. A microfluidics approach towards high-throughput pathogen removal from blood using margination

Hou, H W, et al., Biomicrofluidics, 6, 2, 024115, 2012.Article

7. Clinical validation of an ultra high-throughput spiral microfluidics for the detection and enrichment of viable circulating tumor cells

Khoo, B L, et al., PloS One, 9,7, e99409, 2014.Article

About the MechanoBioEngineering Laboratory

We seek to address important scientific and biomedical problems using interdisciplinary approaches, develop innovative solutions and translate them for biological and healthcare applications. Our focused areas include mechanobiology of human diseases and development of mechanobiologically inspired platforms in microfluidics and wearable microdevices to better detect, diagnose and treat diseases. We have won numerous research awards and honors and have also spun out several startup companies to translate technologies from our lab to bedside and market. We are affiliated with the iHealthtech, Mechanobiology Institute, Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and SMART.

Contact Us
MechBioEng Lab

T-Lab, #08-03, 5A Engineering Drive 1
Dept of Biomedical Engineering
NUS, Singapore 117411
Tel: (65) 6516 6564
Fax: (65) 6773 2205