Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB)


About us

The Institute of Bioengineering and Bioimaging (IBB) is located in Singapore's research and development hub for biomedical sciences, at the heart of Biopolis. The institute is located at Helios and Nanos and is staffed by imaging experts, bioengineers, chemists, physicists, biologists and clinicians. IBB integrates the capabilities and technologies built up by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), which were established in 2003 and 2004 respectively. IBB's work includes the following scientific breakthroughs and innovations:

  • High-impact papers in leading scientific journals
  • Active patents under the Biomedical Research Council’s portfolio
  • 10 spin-off companies (such as Lucence, InvitroCue and Respiree)
IBB's Vision
To be a world-leading Bioengineering and Bioimaging Institute focused on the translation of technologies for the benefit of human and society.

IBB's Mission
The Institute of Bioengineering & Bioimaging strives to develop new technologies and engineering solutions addressing health, medical and sustainability challenges and to promote the advancement of disease prevention, diagnosis and therapy. With our comprehensive research capabilities at the interface of physical sciences, engineering and bioimaging, the institute brings together multi-disciplinary teams of leading scientists and engineers to tackle national and international health and technological priorities through partnership with both clinical and industry communities.

Our Focus Areas

Biomedical Devices & Diagnostics

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Bioengineering Systems

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Biophotonics & Bioimaging

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IBB spearheads multi-disciplinary, application-driven research at the interface of biology, chemistry, engineering and medicine, and work closely with stakeholders across the ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions in strategic areas such as cancer, infectious diseases, and food and nutrition.


International Research Programme (IRP) “FiberMed”

A*STAR’s Institute of Bioimaging and Bioengineering (IBB) is currently working within an International Research Programme (IRP) on a project titled “Specialty Optical Fibre Based Biosensing for Medical Applications (FiberMed)”. The IRP FiberMed is a collaboration between IBB and our counterparts in XLIM - a Joint Research Unit between the University of Limoges and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). FiberMed has been extended to a joint lab through a Research Collaboration Agreement. This collaboration helps to develop new biosensing and bioimaging techniques as well as prototypes for medical diagnostics, which can leverage the properties of custom designed speciality optical fibres as a novel platform.

The project is partially funded by the prestigious ANR-NRF Joint Grant offered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Singapore, and Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), France.

Mission and objectives

This IRP Joint-Lab is an extension of an earlier collaboration between both organisations from 2016 to 2018, which was titled “Bio-Detection Platforms Based on Special Optical Fibres for Clinical Diagnostics”. The previous collaboration was dedicated to the development of ultra-sensitive Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) fibre-based platforms as practical clinical diagnostic tools.

At present, the project aims to develop new biosensing techniques and prototypes for medical diagnostics in clinical environments by tapping on multidisciplinary expertise from both institutes. This project is based on XLIM’s expertise in the design and fabrication of special novel optical fibres, and on IBB’s expertise in the development of bio-photonic based biosensing platforms for real-life medical applications with translational modalities.

Main research projects

The properties offered by the optical fibres will be used for i) improving the sensitivity and reliability of the measurements by increasing the length of light-analyte interactions by the infiltration of the analyte into the holes that run along the entire length of specialty optical fibre or by exposing the core to liquid/gas analytes via an exposed-core fibre, ii) further improving the reliability of the measurements with a reproducible coupling between the optical fibre and the measuring device and iii) develop prototypes of fibre probes by leveraging on the robustness and the intrinsic compactness of the optical fibres.

These properties will be exploited and associated to new concepts for developing the following projects of fibre-probe prototypes for medical diagnostics:

  1. Biosensing fibre probes based on Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)
  2. Biosensing fibre probes based on Metal Enhanced Fluorescence (MEF)
  3. Advanced in fibre acoustic-sensor for all fibre photo-acoustic sensing and imaging
  4. Meta surfaces for developing polarization-sensitive fibre-probe

One possible application could be a sensitive biochemical sensing platform that can detect biomarkers in body fluids, such as an optofluidic biopsy needle.

Another possible application for the highly sensitive probe is the detection of different types and concentrations of pollutants, microplastics, and bacteria in water samples. The probe assesses water quality by using light – which interacts and “excites” molecules – and produces a graph on which different molecules have different peaks or “spectral fingerprints”. Compared to conventional probes, the probe being developed by the team will be faster, cheaper and higher in sensitivity.

Expected Outcomes

The IRP Joint-Lab FiberMed aims to:

  • Advance scientific and technological knowledge in nanophotonics, fibre optics, nanomaterials and biomedical sensing and imaging
  • Generate intellectual properties by filing patent applications throughout the chain of development of medical diagnostic tools (from the design of the optical fibre to the prototype tested in a clinical environment)
  • Prototype realisations of biosensing tools compatible with un-met medical needs
  • Train and nurture students at Master and PhD levels
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