Academic Activities


TBSI Greater Bay Area Intellectual Forum Lecture 55丨Research Seminar【Nanshan i-Park】

  1. 报告主题:Imaging Gene Expression in Live Cells, Tissue and Pre-clinical Models using Nanotechnology
  2. 报告人:Dr. David Yeo
  3. 主持:

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 scar formation.

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. 

Speaker's Bio


David 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 skin diseases.

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 Highlights’ column. 



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.