Research focus and funding:




Renaissance Engineering Programme Fellow Aug 2014


Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship in Engineering 2014


Young Investigator Award in “International Symposium of Materials on Regenerative Medicine 2012” August 29 - 31 2012, Taipei, Taiwan.


Research Focus:


Photo/sustainability-driven Chemical Engineering:


Tim05Hierarchical structured, graphene-modified and doped titanium dioxide with enhanced photon harvesting efficiency and charge transport kinetics are engineered and applied in solar cells and water splitting applications. Our lab has fabricated and configured various types of TiO2 based nanocomposite films which show enhanced visible light photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic properties. These films have also shown superior antimicrobial properties against bacteria such as E.coli, S.aureus and other microbes such as algae, fungus and molds under ambient conditions.


Graphene-modified nanocomposites have also shown enhanced power density in microbial fuel cells, and superior antifouling properties in wastewater treatment membrane.


We have also developed sustainable processes for chiral compound separation and contaminated solid waste conversion by considering the integration of different processes and interchanges of materials within and between processes, to optimize process performance and minimise overall environmental impact.






Photo-enabled / tissue-inspired Biomedical Engineering:


Photo-enabled lanthanide based nanotheranostic are designed and developed as multimodal imaging probes and targeted skin cancer ablation. Integrated imaging modalities combine the strengths of different imaging technique to provide information on different levels of biological structure so that diseased site can be identified in a non-invasive manner. A new class of flourescent-magnetic nanostructures has been developed as probes using lanthanide-based nanomaterials for simultaneous up-conversion fluorescent microscopy and MRI.  A modified version of this nanostructure has also been demonstrated to be able to achieve up-conversion radical generation, and has shown to be highly effective in targeted cancer cells ablation and triggered drug release. The cytotoxicity and biodistribution of such nanomaterials is also evaluated as part of the effort towards preclinical translation.


Tan & coworkers graphical abstract JPCC Jun 2014



Our tissue-inspired 3D injectable hydrogel-hybrid system is designed to be structurally tailorable post implantation, enabling dynamic customization of the scaffold to match varying recovery rates. It promotes bone regeneration using a combined mechano-biochemical directed stem cell differentiation approach. Directed stem cell differentiation has traditionally focused on employing cocktails of various ECM proteins. The short half-life of the proteins, however, means subsequent injections or a control release system which can prolong retention time are required in order to achieve full stem cell differentiation. Our work aims to couple biochemical with mechanobiological approach to achieve in vivo bone regeneration using the 3D injectable bioactive construct. This construct will also have the ability to create space on-demand for host tissue ingrowth and blood vessel infiltration, hence achieving personalized and depot-specific regeneration.






Research Funding


·         ASTAR-NHG-NTU Skin Research Grant, Aug 2014, $99,440.

·         BCA Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund -  Boon Wee Pte Ltd  Industry Grant, April 2014, $186,000

·         AcRF Tier 1, Feb 2014, $180,000

·         EDB GSK Trust Fund, Nov 2011, $380,000

·         AcRF Tier 2, Oct 2011, $ 650,582

·         NTU Proof-of-Concept, Dec 2009, $134,000

·         A*STAR PSF, Sep 2009, $799,690

·         AcRF Tier 1, April 2008, $250,000

·         AcRF Tier 1(SEP), Feb 2007, $93,170

·         AcRF Tier 2 Sep 2006, $720,650

·         AcRF Tier 1Oct 2005, $76,980




PhotoChemBioMed Lab @ SCBE, NTU