top of page
Picture 11.png
Picture 1.png

Synthesis of nanoparticles using microfluidic platform

Nanomedicine in form of nanoparticles is becoming the most important field in medicine for a variety of applications, such as gene therapy, vaccine and cell therapy. According to a market study from Frost & Sullivan, the global nanomedicine market is expected to $ 212.30 billion by 2020 with a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4%. However, significant concerns remain on efficacy, safety, consistency, scale-up of manufacturing and stability when translating nanoparticles from formulation into clinical application, as nanoparticle formation is highly dependent on API & Carrier composition, concentration, flow conditions etc. Conventional laboratory formulation using pipette mixing for formulation discovery lacks consistency from operator errors and is labour-intensive. Microfluidics is becoming increasingly of interest as a superior technique for the synthesis of nanoparticles, particularly for their use in gene therapy.


Dr Zhang's team started to develop a microfluidic system for nanoparticles in 2018. The team has developed patent-pending technologies for the synthesis of nanoparticles with high flow rates and controlled particle properties. Our instrument and software have been well developed. The first-generation prototyping machine will be sent out with industry and RTO partners for trials. Our research in flow synthesis of nanoparticles includes:

  • Design microfluidic structure for effective and efficient synthesis of nanoparticles

  • Mechanistic understanding of composition, flow condition and design on the formation of nanoparticles 

  • AI-driven formulation optimization of nanoparticles 

  • Personised nanomedicine synthesis system for gene therapy


Digital LAMP/PCR

Molecular diagnosis refers to the detection of targeted genetic expressions in a patient’s sample (blood, swab, urine, etc) to identify his/her health condition. As one branch of in-vitro diagnosis (IVD), also the foundation of precision medicine, molecular diagnosis is expanding rapidly due to the increasing demand for genetic and genomic information. Its application involves infectious disease surveillance, personalized medicine, early diagnosis of cancer, drug resistance detection and forensic science, etc.


We propose an integrated platform for direct quantification of viral load and rapid diagnostic. The platform mainly consists of a microfluidic chip for reagents storage and sample processing, a thermal system for precise temperature control, and an imaging system for signal detection. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is chosen instead of PCR for its short reaction time and moderate temperature requirement. Also, three reaction zones for different virus detection are placed in the chip, each of which is made up of more than 20,000 microwells for digital-LAMP reaction. Unlike real-time LAMP, which completes the amplification of all targeted genes in one chamber, digital-LAMP divides the sample into tens of thousands of partitions, each of which contains approximately one copy of the DNA template. This method offers a highly precise and absolute quantitative measurement for the detection of the targeted molecule by counting positive and negative signals from the partitions after reactions end.   Our research in digital LAMP focuses on:


  • Digital partitioning chip design and validation

  • Surface functionalization and treatment

  • Overall cartridge design and prototyping

  • System development

  • Assay development


bottom of page