Lim Chwee Teck2019-10-21T09:26:46+08:00

LIM Chwee Teck

Professor, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore
+65 65167801
E3, #05-10, 9 Engineering Drive 1
Dept of Biomedical Engineering
National University of Singapore
Singapore 117581

Curriculum Vitae

Laboratory website
MechanoBioEngineering Laboratory

Research Program
Leader, Technology Innovation for Mechanobiology Group

NUSS Professor, National University of Singapore

Director, Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech)

Recent Research

Lim Chwee Teck

Principal Investigator

Research Areas

Collective cell migration; Human disease mechanobiology; Microfluidic technologies for disease detection and diagnosis, Flexible wearable technologies for healthcare applications

Research Interests

We aim to address important scientific and biomedical problems using interdisciplinary approaches, develop innovative solutions and translate them for biological and healthcare applications. Our focused areas include mechanobiology of human diseases, and the development of microfluidic technologies and flexible wearable devices for human disease diagnosis and precision therapy.

Another major research interest is collective cell migration which is central to the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms and requires orchestrated movement of cells in specific directions to specific locations and within geometrical constraints. Thus, understanding the mechanisms by which cells collective migrate may potentially lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for diseases such as cancer or for tissue repair. Here, we seek to understand how mechanical cues such as spatial organisation of ECM proteins or geometrical constraints can regulate and coordinate collective migration of cells as well as force transmission across the cell sheet.


Professor Lim is the inaugural NUSS chair Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Founding Principal Investigator at the Mechanobiology Institute. He is also the Director of the Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech).  He cofounded the Department of Biomedical Engineering, NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative and Centre for Advanced 2D Materials.  Prof Lim’s research interests are interdisciplinary and include human disease mechanobiology, development of microfluidic technologies for human disease diagnosis and precision medicine and flexible wearable technologies for healthcare applications.

He has authored over 390 peer-reviewed journal papers and delivered more than 370 plenary/keynote/invited talks. He is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE) and the Academy of Engineering, Singapore. He is also an elected member of the World Council of Biomechanics. He currently sits on the editorial boards of more than 20 international journals. Prof Lim has co-founded one incubator and six startups which are commercializing technologies developed in his lab.

He and his team have garnered close to 100 research awards and honors including Highly Cited Researcher 2018, Winner of IDTechEx Launchpad 2017, International Precision Medicine Conference Prize 2017, ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award and Asian Scientists 100 in 2016, Vladimir K. Zworykin Award in 2015, University’s Outstanding Researcher Award and Outstanding Innovator Award in 2014, the Credit Suisse Technopreneur of the Year Award, Wall Street Journal Asian Innovation Award (Gold) in 2012, President’s Technology Award in 2011 and the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award in 2010 among others. His research was cited by the MIT Technology Review magazine as one of the top ten emerging technologies of 2006 that will “have a significant impact on business, medicine or culture.”


BEng in Mechanical Engineering (with First Class Honours), National University of Singapore

PhD University of Cambridge, UK

Selected Publications

  1. Lim, S B et al, Addressing cellular heterogeneity in tumor and circulation for refined prognostication, PNAS, 116, 36, 17957-17962, 2019.
  2. Ding, X G et al, Defect Engineered Bioactive Transition Metal Dichalcogenides Quantum Dots, Nature Communications, 10, 1, 41, 2019.
  3. Xi, W, T B Saw, C T Lim, B Ladoux, Materials Approach to Active Tissue Mechanics, Nature Reviews Materials, 4, 23-44, 2019.
  4. Saw, T B, W Xi, B Ladoux, C T Lim, Biological tissues as active nematic liquid crystals, Advanced Materials, 118, 14, 6499-6515, 2018
  5. Chaudhuri, P K, B C Low, C T Lim, Mechanobiology of Tumor Growth, Chemical Reviews, 118, 14, 6499-6515, 2018
  6. Sun, S Y et al, Flagellum couples cell shape to motility in Trypanosoma brucei, PNAS, 201722618, 2018
  7. Khoo, B L et al, Expansion of patient-derived circulating tumor cells from liquid biopsies using a CTC microfluidic culture device, Nature Protocols, 13, 34-58, 2018
  8. Kenry et al, When stem cells meet graphene: Opportunities and challenges in regenerative medicine, Biomaterials, 155, 236-250, 2018
  9. Lim, S B et al, An extracellular matrix-related prognostic and predictive indicator for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, Nature Communications, 8, 1734, 2017
  10. Saw, T B et al, Topological defects in epithelia govern cell death and extrusion, Nature, 544, 212-216, 2017. [PMID: 28406198]
  11. Warkiani, M E, et al, Ultra-fast, label-free isolation of circulating tumor cells from blood using spiral microfluidics, Nature Protocols, 14, 1, 128-37, 2016. [PMID: 26678083]
  12. Khoo, B L et al, Liquid biopsy and therapeutic response: Circulating tumor cell cultures for evaluation of anticancer treatment. Science Advances, 2, 7, e1600274, 2016. [PMID: 27453941]
  13. Gupta, M et al, Adaptive rheology and ordering of cell cytoskeleton govern matrix rigidity sensing, Nature Communications, 6, 7525, 2015. [PMID: 26109233]
  14. Vedula, S R K et al, Mechanics of epithelial closure over non-adherent environments, Nature Communications, 6, 6111, 2015. [PMID: 25608921]
  15. Lee, W C et al, Multivariate biophysical markers predictive of mesenchymal stromal cell multi potency, PNAS, 111(42):E4409-18, 2014. [PMID: 25298531]
  16. Yao, M et al, Force-dependent conformational switch of a-catenin controls vinculin binding, Nature Communications, 5, 4525, 2014. [PMID: 25077739]
  17. Vedula, S R K et al, Epithelial bridges maintain tissue integrity during collective cell migration, Nature Materials, 13, 87-96, 2014. [PMID: 24292420]
  18. Thiery, J P, C T Lim, Tumor dissemination: An EMT affair, Cancer Cell, 23, 3, 272-273, 2013. [PMID: 23518345]
  19. Vedula, S R K et al, Emerging modes of collective cell migration induced by geometrical constraints, PNAS, 109, 32, 12974-12979, 2012. [PMID: 22814373]

Recent Publications

  1. Lim SB, Lim CT, and Lim W. Single-Cell Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells: Why Heterogeneity Matters. Cancers (Basel) 2019; 11(10). [PMID: 31635038]
  2. Venugopal Menon N, Lim SB, and Lim CT. Microfluidics for personalized drug screening of cancer. Curr Opin Pharmacol 2019; 48:155-161. [PMID: 31634805]
  3. Lim SB, Tan SJ, Lim W, and Lim CT. Compendiums of cancer transcriptomes for machine learning applications. Sci Data 2019; 6(1):194. [PMID: 31594947]
  4. Khoo BL, Bouquerel C, Durai P, Anil S, Goh B, Wu B, Raman L, Mahendran R, Thamboo T, Chiong E, and Lim CT. Detection of Clinical Mesenchymal Cancer Cells from Bladder Wash Urine for Real-Time Detection and Prognosis. Cancers (Basel) 2019; 11(9). [PMID: 31480265]
  5. Yu L, Feng Y, S/O M Tamil Selven D, Yao L, Soon RH, Yeo JC, and Lim CT. Dual-Core Capacitive Microfiber Sensor for Smart Textile Applications. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2019;. [PMID: 31424908]
  6. Lim SB, Yeo T, Lee WD, Bhagat AAS, Tan SJ, Tan DSW, Lim W, and Lim CT. Addressing cellular heterogeneity in tumor and circulation for refined prognostication. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2019;. [PMID: 31416912]
  7. Tan E, Li BL, Ariga K, Lim C, Garaj S, and Leong DT. Toxicity of Two-Dimensional Layered Materials and Their Heterostructures. Bioconjug. Chem. 2019;. [PMID: 31381854]
  8. Xia S, Lim YB, Zhang Z, Wang Y, Zhang S, Lim CT, Yim EKF, and Kanchanawong P. Nanoscale Architecture of the Cortical Actin Cytoskeleton in Embryonic Stem Cells. Cell Rep 2019; 28(5):1251-1267.e7. [PMID: 31365868]
  9. Gao Y, Yu L, Yeo JC, and Lim CT. Flexible Hybrid Sensors for Health Monitoring: Materials and Mechanisms to Render Wearability. Adv. Mater. Weinheim 2019;:e1902133. [PMID: 31339200]
  10. Narayanaswamy A, Nai MH, Nongpiur ME, Htoon HM, Thomas A, Sangtam T, Lim CT, Wong TT, and Aung T. Young's Modulus Determination of Normal and Glaucomatous Human Iris. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019; 60(7):2690-2695. [PMID: 31242291]

MBI Lab Members

Recent Awards

About the National University of Singapore

About NUSA leading global university centred in Asia, NUS is Singapore's flagship university, offering a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

About the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

About MBIOne of four Research Centres of Excellence at NUS, MBI is working to identify, measure and describe how the forces for motility and morphogenesis are expressed at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.