The Nanomedicine & Nanorobotics Lab (NNL) was started in Jan 2013 with a focus on understanding the nano-bio interface and engineering strategies using the interface to probe and modulate biological processes. With a well-designed nanoscale interface to biology, we hope to achieve our goal of clinical translations for cancer, heart, metabolic and infectious diseases. The research of this group is organized in 3 key research areas:

1. Understanding the Biology of the Nano-Bio Interface

Understanding Nano-Bio Interface

We seek to understand the biology of this nano-bio interface, particularly how the inevitable non-specific adsorption of proteins around nanoparticles to form the protein corona affects their complement activation, colloidal stability and nanorheology in blood. The nanorheology includes their margination towards the vascular wall, their endothelial interactions and eventual trans-endothelial migration.

Selected 5 most recent publications:

  1. Ho YT, Adriani G, Beyer S, Nhan PT, Kamm RD, Kah JCY*. A Facile Method to Probe the Vascular Permeability of Nanoparticles in Nanomedicine Applications, Scientific Reports 2017; 7: 707.

  2. Quach QH, Kah JCY*. Non-Specific Adsorption of Complement Proteins Affects Complement Activation Pathways of Gold Nanomaterials, Nanotoxicology 2017; 11: 382 – 394.

  3. Koh WL, Tham PH, Yu H*, Leo HL*, Kah JCY*. Aggregation and Protein Corona Formation on Gold Nanoparticles Affect Viability and Liver Functions of Primary Rat Hepatocytes, Nanomedicine 2016; 11(17): 2275-2287.

  4. Patra A, Tao D, Engudar G, Wang Y, Dykas MM, Liedberg B, Kah JCY*, Venkatesan T*, Drum CL*. Component Specific Analysis of Plasma Protein Corona Formation On Gold Nanoparticles Using Multiplexed Surface Plasmon Resonance, Small 2016; 12: 1174–1182.

  5. Kah JCY, Grabinski C, Untener E, Garrett C, Chen J, Zhu D, Hussain SM, Hamad-Schifferli K. Protein coronas on gold nanorods passivated with amphiphilic ligands affect cytotoxicity and cellular response to penicillin/streptomycin. ACS Nano 2014; 8(5): 4608-4620.


2. Engineer the Nano-Bio Interface for Probing Biology

Nano-Bio Interface for Probing Biology

We engineer the nano-bio interface for biological probing, using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) as a detection platform. We currently have three projects on developing protein and peptide-coated nanoparticles for probing phosphorylation in cells for cancer, Enterovirus 71 (EV71) for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), and cabapenamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) for antibiotic resistant bacteria. This applied research in probing phosphorylation, HFMD and CPE with appropriate nano-bio interface in our group also involves collaboration with companies to develop these into a diagnostic test kit to realize the potential commercial application of our research.

Selected 5 most recent publications:

  1. Reyes M, Piotrowski M, Ang SK, Chan J, He S, Chu JJH, Kah JCY*. Exploiting the Anti-Aggregation of Gold Nanostars for Rapid Detection of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Causing Enterovirus 71 using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, Analytical Chemistry 2017; 89 (10): 5373–5381.
  2. He S, Chua J, Tan EKM, Kah JCY*. Optimizing the SERS Enhancement of a Facile Gold Nanostars Immobilized Paper-Based SERS Substrate, RSC Advances 2017; 7: 16264 – 16272.

  3. He S, Kang MWC, Khan FJ, Tan EKM, Silverio RMA, Kah JCY*. Optimizing Gold Nanostars from One-Pot Synthesis as a Colloid-Based Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Substrate, J Optics 2015; 17: 114013.

  4. Yeo ELL, Chua AJS, Krupakar P, Yeo HY, Ng MML, Kah JCY*. Understanding Aggregation-based Assays: Nature of Protein Corona and Number of Epitopes on Antigen Matters, RSC Advances 2015; 5: 14982–14993.

  5. Ho YT, Poinard B, Yeo ELL, Kah JCY*. An Instantaneous Colorimetric Protein Assay Based on Spontaneous Formation of Protein Corona on Gold Nanoparticles, Analyst 2015; 140: 1026–1036.


3. Engineer the Nano-Bio Interface for Modulating Biology

Engineering the Nano-Bio Interface for Modulating

We also engineer the nano-bio interface for modulating biological conditions as the other applied research arm in our group. Specifically, we made use of the protein corona around nanoparticles to enhance the translation of proteins in cells and to perform loading and triggered release of drugs for multimodal cancer therapy. We also design glycosaminoglycans and peptide coated nanoparticles for cancer therapeutic applications.

Selected 5 most recent publications:

  1. Chan KP, Chao SH*, Kah JCY*. Universal mRNA Translation Enhancement with Gold Nanoparticles Conjugated to Oligonucleotides with a poly(T) Sequence, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2018, accepted, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b16390.

  2. Yeo ELL, Thong PSP, Soo KC, Kah JCY*. Protein Corona in Drug Delivery for Multimodal Cancer Therapy In Vivo, Nanoscale 2018, accepted, DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08509E.

  3. Yeo ELL, Cheah JUJ, Lim BY, Thong PSP, Soo KC, Kah JCY*. Protein Corona around Gold Nanorods as a Drug Carrier for Multimodal Cancer Therapy, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2017; 3(6): 1039 - 1050.

  4. Chan KP, Gao Y, Goh JX, Susanti D, Yeo ELL, Chao SH, Kah JCY*. Exploiting the Protein Corona from Cell Lysate on DNA Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for Enhanced mRNA Translation, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 2017; 9: 10408 - 10417.

  5. Yeo ELL, Neo DJH, Cheah JUJ, Goh WI, Thong PSP, Kanchanawong P, Kah JCY*. Exploiting the Protein Corona around Gold Nanorods for Low-Dose Combined Photothermal and Photodynamic Therapy with a Single Laser Excitation, J Mater Chem B 2017; 5: 254-268.