Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > NTU sets up Southeast Asia’s first nanomedicine research institute - New $60 million institute to focus on diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmology and skin therapeutics

(L-R) Prof Subbu Venkatraman; Prof Chad Mirkin; NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey - NTU launched SE Asia's first Nanomedicine research institute today
(L-R) Prof Subbu Venkatraman; Prof Chad Mirkin; NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey - NTU launched SE Asia's first Nanomedicine research institute today

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is giving the development of nanotechnology a big boost, by establishing a new $60 million research institute in Nanomedicine, which focuses on the medical application of nanotechnology. An emerging field in drugs, nanomedicine are made up of tiny nano-sized particles thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand.

NTU sets up Southeast Asia’s first nanomedicine research institute - New $60 million institute to focus on diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmology and skin therapeutics

Singapore | Posted on November 6th, 2013

The new Nanomedicine will be headed by Professor Subbu Venkatraman, Chair of NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering, with Professor Chad Mirkin from Northwestern University as the chairman of its advisory committee. Prof Mirkin is a scientific advisor to United States President Barack Obama and a celebrated nanotechnology expert with more than 80 national and international awards and is the author of over 550 manuscripts and has over 930 patents worldwide.

Prof Mirkin is renowned globally for his work involving Spherical Nucleic Acids, structures made by taking DNA or RNA, the codes of life, and arranging them into a tiny ball on the surface of a nanoparticle, typically made of gold. The founder of four successful companies, he is acknowledged as a pioneer in using such nanomaterials for molecular and medical sensing, and is now developing various types of nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer.

Set to be Southeast Asia's first research institute in nanomedicine, the new Nanotechnology Institute @NTU will have the well-known International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN), based in Northwestern University and headed by Professor Mirkin, as its main collaborative partner.

The new institute has identified several initial projects such as a new anti-glaucoma nanomedicine. Injected only twice yearly to replace the current daily eye drops, the nanomedicine reduces high eye-pressure, which if left untreated can lead to blindness.

Another project in the works is the new drug-eluting balloon, which can deliver drugs in nano form over a long period of time to prevent re-occurrence of cardiovascular plaque that narrow the arteries.

Announced today by NTU Provost, Professor Freddy Boey, the new Nanomedicine Institute @ NTU will have $60 million in funding and will focus on developing innovative solutions in four core areas - diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmology and skin therapeutics.

Prof Boey, a serial inventor and a nanoscience expert himself globally, said the new institute will build upon the university's success in nanomaterials to develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic medicine that will address medical needs which are currently unmet.

"The use of Nanomaterials for medical applications is today, one of the most exciting frontiers, enabling solutions for unmet needs never thought possible previously," Prof Boey said.

"NTU has already produced some "first-in-the-world" solutions using nanomaterials for cardiovascular and ophthalmology diseases. There are still many, many unmet medical needs, for example, in the area of diabetes. This effort will help Singapore and NTU to be at the forefront in developing disruptive solutions for unmet medical needs globally. "

"Likewise, while there are current drugs to tackle the diseases of today, they may not be the most effective in their current form. For example, by changing the packaging and delivery of a drug into a nano-sized form, we can prolong the period of which the drug stays in a body, reducing both the frequency and amount of drugs needed to treat the affected body part."

Strong interdisciplinary approach

The university wide Nanomedicine Institute @ NTU will have research facilities in both NTU's Yunnan Garden campus and Novena campus. It brings together NTU's key nanotechnology-related projects and experts, across its engineering and science schools, including NTU's new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

Founding Director of the Institute, Professor Subbu Venkatraman said: "Medical solutions for the future can only be found through a strong interdisciplinary approach in research; this is particularly true for Nanomedicine."

"For example, the new glaucoma nanomedicine was only developed through joint collaboration between myself, Prof Boey and a clinician-scientist, Associate Professor Tina Wong, from the Singapore Eye Research Institute," added the materials science expert with several patents to his name.

The nanomedicine is made by encasing the usual anti-glaucoma drug in millions of nano-sized capsules, which then degrades over a few months to release the drugs. These small capsules are about 100,000 times small than a grain of rice.

"A prolonged timed-release drug delivery nanomedicine product did not exist until now, and it would not have been possible without inputs of medical doctors and strong materials science knowledge," added Prof Subbu.

Similarly, the heart balloon used in surgeries to widen narrowed arteries and to prevent a heart attack can be further improved with a new gel. This gel contains millions of timed-release nano-sized capsules which have anti-restenotic drugs in them to help prevent the re-narrowing of arteries after it has been widened.

Top international partners

Joining Professor Chad Mirkin in the advisory board of NTU's new institute is his colleague Prof Vinayak Dravid from the Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization (NUANCE) Center. Together, they bring on board considerable experience in translating nanomedicinal products to market.

Prof Mirkin said: "NTU's partnership with Northwestern University's International Institute for Nanotechnology will create a world class recruiting base and research infrastructure, making it one of the largest global efforts in the field of nanomedicine.

"Through the new institute, NTU and Northwestern scientists, engineers, and medical doctors will collaboratively develop new ways of tracking and treating some of the world's most debilitating diseases," said the nanoscience expert, who is also a visiting professor at NTU.

Prof Mirkin's many awards for his nanotechnology work include the prestigious Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, considered by many to be the Nobel prize of invention.

Other notable tie-ups will be with Professor Lenny Rome of the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) and Prof Shlomo Mogdassi of Hebrew University, who was involved with the translation of a very early nanomedicine product, Abraxane, used in the treatment of breast, lung and pancreatic cancer.

The institute will also work with Prof Marcelle Machluf of Technion Institute of Technology, who is recognised for her work in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Market estimates places the value of existing nanomedicine products worldwide at US$112 billion in 2012, and is expected to expand 10.8 per cent annually. The estimates do not include the newly-created markets such as in ophthalmology (approx. $2 billion), dermatology (approx. $1 billion) cardiovascular ($7 billion) and diabetes ($8 to $10 billion).

Besides ground-breaking research, NTU has had remarkable success translating its research into innovative applications. Most recently ranked 41st globally by higher education information provider Quacquarelli Symonds, NTU was also ranked No. 1 in the world by Times higher Education in industry income and innovation.

Innovation and Future Healthcare are two of NTU's Five Peaks of Excellence, which are interdisciplinary research areas that the university aims to make a global mark in. The other three peaks include Sustainable Earth, New Media, and the Best of East and West.


About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

For more information, please click here

Lester Kok
Senior Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

East China University of Science and Technology Purchases Nanonex Advanced Nanoimprint Tool NX-B200 July 30th, 2014

Watching Schrödinger's cat die (or come to life): Steering quantum evolution & using probes to conduct continuous error correction in quantum computers July 30th, 2014

From Narrow to Broad July 30th, 2014

FLAG-ERA and TNT2014 join efforts: Graphene Networking at its higher level in Barcelona: Encourage the participation in a joint transnational call July 30th, 2014

Openings/New facilities/Groundbreaking/Expansion

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Opens an Atomic Force Microscopy Demonstration Lab in Mumbai, India July 21st, 2014

Sono-Tek Corporation Announces New Clean Room Rated Laboratory Facility in China July 18th, 2014

Beneq is on the move! June 12th, 2014

NTU launches $30 million 3D printing research centre: New centre to establish $5 million joint-lab for 3D printing with industry leader SLM Solutions May 28th, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014


University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

Haydale Announces Collaboration Agreement with Swansea University’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings (WCPC) July 12th, 2014

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

Innovation Management and the Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry July 1st, 2014


New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 30th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014


University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014

Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014

FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research July 30th, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE