Notice: This lecture is a research seminar for credit.
September 27th, Tursday, 2018 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Live-cell imaging is critical to advancing biomedicine. For example,
reporter constructs rely on (viral) integration to enable real-time gene
imaging in cells. Consequently, these suffer from: viral-induced mutations and
laborious processes (due to clonal selection and gene reporter design). In
addition, fluorescent proteins have limited signal-background ratio because of
tissue auto-fluorescence. On the other hand, contrast agent labelling often
lacks molecular specificity, and causes false positive signal generation. My
experience shows that nanotechnology can be readily harnessed and is highly
advantageous for gene imaging. Abnormal (Hypertrophic, Keloid) scars are
characterized by excessive fibrosis due to dysfunctional wound healing. Despite
occurring in 1:12 of the developed world’s population, no satisfactory therapy
exists. Furthermore, no method reliably prognosticates their emergence
early-on. In response, we developed nano-sensors
for 1) efficient drug screening and 2) detection and prediction of abnormal
1) A Fibroblast activation protein(FAP)-α
Probe: FNP1, was designed to rapidly (<30 mins) generate near-infrared fluorescence. Abnormal scar fibroblasts, TGF-β1, anti-fibrotic drugs, inhibitors and drugs with undefined properties were screened to identify anti-scarring compounds. Compounds ‘R’ and ‘T’ were discovered to possess previously unreported anti-scarring properties and were further validated with genetic analyses. 2) To date, abnormal scar prognosis before its full manifestation can only be achieved by skin biopsy analysis. However, biopsies are limited by: invasiveness, pain, inconvenience, and surgical complications. In response, topically-applied nanoparticles (NanoFlares) were used to probe mRNA non-invasively. NanoFlares detecting wound-healing dysfunction through the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) biomarker demonstrated specificity in solution, cells, ex vivo (human) tissue and pre-clinical animal models (mice, rabbits).
This talk elaborates on the critical role
nanotechnology can play in abnormal scar therapy, diagnostic development and a
host of other live cell/tissue gene-imaging applications. Specifically, FNP1
rapidly identifies novel anti-scarring drugs and drug combinations in an
easy-to-use format. Furthermore, topically-applied NanoFlares
were utilized for the first-ever instance of biopsy-free skin diagnosis.
Crucially, gene-imaging enabled by nanotechnology may dramatically alter
healthcare paradigms especially in the case of dermatology.
Yeo is Research Fellow and Lecturer at the School of Chemical and Biomedical
Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He holds Master's and
Doctoral degrees from Imperial College London, UK in Materials Science and
Chemical Engineering respectively. He is passionate about solving problems in
Biomedicine by combining emerging Engineering disciplines and seeks to
translate these in commercial and clinical directions. These include: nano/micro-technology
diagnostics, therapeutics for stem cells and dermatology applications; and
fluidic devices for stem cell separation and bioprocessing. Of note, he
recently pioneered a biopsy-free diagnostic method using nanotechnology for
David has lectured 6 undergraduate modules
and mentored a total of 12 students. To date, he has published 29 peer-reviewed
articles, 1 book chapter, 4 provisional and PCT patent applications; and
received a total of 12 prizes for scientific and communication proficiency. He
also serves the society for laboratory automation and screening (SLAS)
Technology journal as an Editorial board member and contributes a bi-monthly ‘Literature
Professors and students of TBSI are welcome to attend. The lecture is also open to the public. For off-campus personnel, please scan the QR code and and fill in your information (name, company, contact number, ID number). The language of the lecture is English.