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Duan Hongwei
Associate Chair (Research)
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering

Duan Hongwei is an associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He received his B.S. in applied chemistry and M.S. in polymer chemistry & physics at Fudan University. After completing his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, he had his postdoctoral training in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. His current research focuses on understanding surface/interface properties of micro- and nano-structures to achieve tailored optical, electronic, magnetic, catalytic, and structural properties for their biomedical and environmental applications.

Research Statement

Dr. Duan’s research centers on surface and interface engineering of colloidal particles for biomedical applications, such as early detection and effective treatment of major human diseases. The intriguing properties of the particles provides unique opportunities in identifying and mapping biological targets. His research has tackled these major challenges by combining nanochemistry, polymer chemistry, and self-assembly techniques to develop colloidal particles and particle ensembles with highly desired properties for specific biomedical applications. This interdisciplinary effort not only contributes to fundamental research in surface chemistry, interface science, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, and biophysics, but also provide practical solutions to medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Research One-liner

My research centers on surface and interface engineering of colloidal particles for biomedical applications.


1. Xiong, Qirong; Lim, Chun Yee; Ren, Jinghua; Zhou, Jiajing; Pu, Kanyi; Chan-Park, Mary Bee Eng; Mao, Hui; Lam, Yee Cheong; Duan, Hongwei. Magnetic Nanochain Integrated Microfluidic Biochips. Nature Communications 2018, 9, 1743.

This work reports magnetic nanochain integrated microfluidic chip built upon the synergistic functions of the nanochains as nanoscale stir bars for rapid liquid mixing and as capturing agents for specific bioseparation,  allowing for streamlined parallel analysis of multiple specimens with greatly improved assay kinetics and delivers ultrasensitive identification and quantification of a panel of cancer protein biomarkers and bacterial species within 8 min.

2. Song, Jibin; Zhou, Jiajing; Duan, Hongwei. Self-Assembled Plasmonic Vesicles of SERS-Encoded Amphiphilic Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Cell Targeting and Traceable Intracellular Drug Delivery.

This work reports the development of bioconjugated plasmonic vesicles assembled from SERS-encoded amphiphilic gold nanoparticles for traceable cancer-targeted drug delivery.

3. Hou, Shuai; Chen, Yonghao; Lu, Derong; Xiong, Qirong; Lim, Yun; Duan, Hongwei. A Self-Assembled Plasmonic Substrate for Enhanced Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. Advanced Materials 2020, 32, 1906475.

The biocompatible self-assembled plasmonic substrate that allows convenient bioconjugation imparted by polydopamine has afforded improved FRET efficiency in DNA microarray assay and FRET imaging of live cells, opening the possibility of integration into fluorescence-based platforms for diverse biomedical and photoconversion applications.

Latest Projects
  1. Rapid Microfluidic Detection of Drug-Resistant Bacteria via Metabolic Labeling.
  2. Targeting Bacteria with Caged Cationic Antimicrobial Agents
  3. Dynamic Magnetic Nanomixers for Improved Microarray Assays by Eliminating Diffusion Limitation
  4. Nanogapped Plasmonic Nanostructures: Towards Surface Enhanced Optical Properties
  5. Controlled Delivery of Antibiotics by Metal-Organic Frameworks for Synergistic Antimicrobial Activities
Other affiliation(s)

Expert Areas
surface chemistry; colloids and interface; plasmonics; surface-enhanced optical properties; diagnostics; controlled delivery

Research Interests
biosensors; diagnostics; bioimaging; biotherapeutics

Research Category
Engineering & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Natural Sciences
Research Sub-category
NISTH Assigned Topic Groupings
Tele-health, medicine, rehab & therapeutics
Affiliated Sustainable Development Goals
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION – Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.
GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION – Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Last Updated
28 Apr 2020
Last Updated
13 Sep 2020