Health, Science & Technology

Nanotechnology-based blood testing to identify breast cancer

Institutions: University of Toronto, Canada

Associate Professor Dr. Lim Hong Ngee is a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is also the Head of Materials Synthesis and Characterisation Laboratory at the Institute for Advanced Materials (ITMA) where she specializes in synthesis, characterization and applications of nanomaterials.

For her research entitled “Nanotechnology-based Blood Testing to Identify Breast Cancer Using Smartphone”, Dr Lim wanted to develop a smart nanotechnology-based breast cancer testing scheme using an autonomous analyser that would simplify the method of detection and provide fast diognosis of the disease.

“In this research, my strength will be to synthesize graphene-based nanocomposite for the modification of electrode to enhance electrochemical signal to detect biomarker of breast cancer. The modified electrode will then be incorporated into a device for rapid biosensing”, said Dr Lim.

“During my attachment at University of Toronto, Canada, I was exposed to the research on developing an intelligent portable digital microfluidic system that operates at the point-of-need to aid the diagnosis of diseases so that they can be better managed.

Now, together with her husband and research team, they explore the use of graphene oxide as a starting material for the synthesis of nanocomposites that are applicable as materials for supercapacitors, batteries, solar cells, sensors, water research, fillers for different types of matrices and many more.

When asked to explain about her daily routine, Dr Lim said being a scientist is the best job in the world as it allows you the flexibility to be creative and think outside the box.

“There are times where you feel like pulling out your hair, overwhelmed by urgent due dates, but there are moments of serene when you are flooded with creative juice. It is never an easy task for a scientist to push their invention for commercialization but the challenge tests you at so many levels; sometimes you will not even know that you have it in you until you delve into the task”, she added.

Dr Lim has a PhD in Chemistry from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

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