Author Archives: Gan Hwee Chin, Alexis

About Gan Hwee Chin, Alexis


Making tissues from water droplets?

Gabriel Villar and his colleagues reported in Science,that tiny water droplets can be engineered to work together, sort of like cells — moving in concert, passing electrical signals. Villar built a device that fabricates these pseudo-cellular networks while he was getting his Ph.D. in the departments of chemistry and physics at Oxford. He claimed that water droplet networks (with some major advancements) could be made into artificial tissues, paving new hopes for tissue engineering and organ implants.

Singapore’s Chemicals Industry: Engineering an Island (CEP April 2013)

Image taken from EDB, Singapore.

Read the latest feature article in CEP magazine, April 2013 issue; on the formation & transformation of Jurong Island to boost the chemical industry in Singapore by Dr. Carpenter & Dr. Ng, from Institute of Chemical, Engineering & Sciences (ICES). Full article (select download & read this article) is available at CEP magazine , April 2013.

An excerpt of the article is as follows:

“The chemicals industry is a pillar of Singapore’s economic success.The island city-state’s emergence as a chemical industry leader has been boosted by investment in infrastructure and creation of an industrial island complex.”

Nina Tandon: Could tissue engineering mean personalized medicine?

Everyone’s unique even when it comes to illness and reaction towards medical treatment. Watch tissue engineer, Nina Tandon speaks about possibility of using pluripotent stem cells to customize models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips.

Smart plastic detectors-Be gone food waste!

Have you been plagued by guilt for throwing away food & drinks , debating whether to ignore the ‘best before’ date or risk food poisoning? Worry no more because researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe), Universitá di Catania, CEA-Liten and STMicroelectronics has invented a plastic sensor which could be integrated within food packaging to gauge food conditions.

This economically feasible invention, a plastic analog–digital converter (ADC), was revealed last month, February 2013, at International Solid-State Circuits Conference(ISSCC) in San Francisco, the world’s most important conference on solid-state circuits.The plastic circuit could translate analog signal such as the measuring output of a sensor – into digital information. That could be printed as plastic films, which cost significantly lower than silicon circuit, making it ideal for use in packaging to monitor food freshness. Other beneficiary from this invention would be pharmaceutical and its related industries, cosmetics or plastic solar cell.

Usually, we decide on the food conditions based on  the expiry date , although they might still be safe for consumption. If the plastic sensor is integrated, consumers & business owners alike could look forward to a handy scanner, or even use our mobile phones to check the freshness of the food. Hopefully, we could reduce throwing away perfectly safe & edible food, saving more. Read full story at TUe



UCLA develops ‘hangover pill’

Image taken from “Against the ‘Graine” blog.


Scientists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) claimed to have  found the miracle pill for  speeding up the body’s reaction to the consumption of alcohol or a “hangover pill.”

“Yunfeng Lu, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, Henry Samueli School

of Engineering and Applied Science, and colleagues said they successfully placed two complementary enzymes in

a tiny capsule to speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body.”

Read full news at United Press International (UPI) or the full technical papers can be found at Nature Nanotechnology (2013).