Hemant Kumar Raut
Postdoctoral FellowThe goal of my multidisciplinary research is to apply structural designs inspired from nature to develop bio-inspired materials. In a broad range of research works (over 16 publications with 1650+ citations), I have demonstrated that bio-inspired hierarchical (micro-/nano-structure) interfaces/surfaces could exhibit multifunctional properties (highlights in Chemical and Engineering News and ScienceDaily). More specifically, in my current research, I am developing color-producing hierarchical structures that ties with my previous research on bio-inspired micro-/nano-structure arrays that could suppress optical reflections. I have also demonstrated that bristles-like hierarchical structures inspired from gecko toepads could help develop adhesive films that could be reused over 200 times. The manufacturing of these complex structures has become possible due to a distinctive nanofabrication technique (SLAN) that I had developed during my doctoral research at NUS Mechanical Engineering. In a recently concluded SUTD-MIT fellowship (2016-18), I have also added another dimension to my work. I have investigated the growth of minerals on interfaces (biomineralization) that has led to the manufacturing of a composite that exhibits unprecedented combination of strength and toughness. Such materials have diverse applications in fields ranging from biomedical to defense, which we are also studying in parallel.
SUTD-NUS PhDJyothsna joined The Fermart Lab in 2016 as NUS-SUTD PhD fellow. She is passionate about understanding the properties of different types of materials and how they can be applied to the domain of living or biological systems. She completed her Master’s degree from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The National University of Singapore (NUS). Her thesis focused on understanding the physical and chemical properties of biodegradable polyesters and their applications as protein delivery systems.
Prior to her research stint at NUS, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from SRM University, Chennai. She worked on the synthesizing and characterizing of Chitosan/Diopside scaffolds and their applications as Bone Tissue Engineering substrates. At The Fermart Lab, she is working towards building in vitro lab on chip platforms to study cell migration and cancer metastasis cascade. Besides her research interests, she loves keeping abreast of the latest trends in innovations and technologies, reading, and learning new languages. She is also an aspiring photographer.
PhDRupambika joined the Fermart lab as PhD candidate in 2017. She is interested in looking into how the bio-compatible biomaterials along with microfluidic applications can be incorporated to make devices which could be used to study biological aspects in a broader dimension. Coming from a biology background with Masters in Biotechnology the current topic of amalgamating biomaterials and fluid mechanics is an interdisciplinary approach. Additionally, she is specialized in molecular and cell biology techniques, AFM, Micropipette Aspiration, LC-MS, Flow cytometry and Tissue culture. Previous experience of work includes studying the red blood cell biomechanics where the shear modulus is calculated in terms of rigidity of reticulocytes and normocytes in three aspects when infected with Plasmodium falciparum, in diabetic conditions and in presence of oxidative agents.
PhDAshaa graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Master’s degree in Nanotechnology from Anna University, India with one year exchange studies done at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Her master’s thesis was in the production of DNA oligonucleotides and investigating the factors affecting the production at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. She also has experiences of working in the development of biosensors using liposomes at NTU, Singapore and preparation of nanoparticles for delivering oral insulin and human growth hormone at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. After graduation, she joined The Fermart Lab as PhD candidate. Her current research interests are engineering of biomaterials and bio-inspired materials and their applications, bio-sensing.
SUTD-NUS PhDShiwei joined the Fermart Lab as PhD candidate in 2018. He graduated from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. His previous work in microfluidics motivated him to look towards natural phenomenon, and nature in general, for potential solutions to the problems we face. His current research interest is focused on the engineering of bio-inspired materials and biomaterials for various application.
PhDKomal joined the team in December 2019, as a final year PhD student. Her PhD work primarily focuses upon development of impact resistant tough polymer composites (using synthetic materials) with bio-inspired micro-architectural hierarchical design. She loves the process of an idea taking shape into something concrete through lab efforts and the post experiment analysis. She has worked in multi-disciplinary areas to make lab scale materials for various applications.
Her cutting edge research experiences include- Using electrospinning as a 3D printing method to develop complex architectural designs at nano/micro level (specifically bioinspired helicoidal micro-structures); Investing the effect of architectural design, role of interfacial adhesion, surface characteristics within the composite structures; Analysing nanomechanical, thermal, chemical , physical and viscoelastic properties of the polymer composites; Mimicking the spider silk and investigating its fog harvesting capabilities; Making high load bearing sticky adhesive for wall climbing robots, Analysing Glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites. She plans to expand her future work by utilizing her fabrication techniques knowledge and learn new clean room fabrication techniques to synthesize piezoelectric materials, tough biomaterial composites with microstructural design, photovoltaic materials, protective clothing, light weight and impact resistant - sport gears, helmets, armours.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from VTU, India and was awarded Gold medal for highest B.E course average in college. She was awarded with prestigious SUTD PhD scholarship in 2016. She has done three month internship during her PhD at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and has independently collaborated with research groups at SUTD, National university of Singapore (NUS), The Arctic university of Norway (UiT) and La Trobe University, Australia.
MsCBenjamin graduated from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Product Development. He joined the Fermart Lab shortly after as a student researcher to further his studies under the Master of Engineering in Innovation by Design (MiBD) program in SUTD. One of his undergraduate projects sparked his interest in biomaterials and their viability as a sustainable alternative to conventional materials. His current research interest is in chitosan based organic-inorganic composites and their various applications.
Senior Research AssitantI have a bachelor's degree in Automation and a master's degree in Computer Science. I have some years' experience in Engineering and Robotics. Now I joined the Fermart Lab as a Reserach Assistant in 2020. My current research interests are Material, Robotics, Machine Learning as well as AI methods.
Senior Research AssitantJian Li graduated from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Product Development and a Master of Science in Technology Entrepreneurship in 2020. He joined the Fermart Lab in 2020 as a Senior Research Assistant shortly after getting his Masters. His area of interest in research is robotics. Outside of research, he enjoys working on interactive installations and has been part of the Singapore Night Festival for its 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions.
Visiting ResearcherAnupama received her PhD in 2018 from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her PhD thesis was on understanding the genetic and developmental basis of wing pattern variations in butterflies. Inspired by the beautifully nanostructured, color producing scales of butterflies and, being passionate about biomimetics and interdisciplinary research, Anupama decided to study biophotonics through a combination of developmental studies and biomaterial engineering. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at NUS, working on single-cell transcriptomics of butterfly wing cells to understand the genetic basis of color development. She joined the Fermart lab in 2019 as a visiting researcher, with the aim of engineering structurally colored biomaterials using bio-inspired templates.
Research InternNaomi joined The Fermart Lab in 2020 as an EPD research intern. She is passionate in using technology to redefine the future of medicine, and making an impact towards healthcare. She is en route to graduating with a Diploma in Biotechnology at Singapore Polytechnic. During her course of study, she did a year-long project where she worked on genetically engineering cells to detect colorectal cancer in the human body. At The Fermart Lab, she is studying cell migration and cancer metastasis cascade using microfluidics. Her interest in science are not just merely biology and chemistry, it extends out to engineering, programming and machine learning as well. Naomi is always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of current processes and she is not afraid to try new things. Outside of research, she enjoys self-learning new skills, reading and being active. She also serves as a senior projectionist at her local church, specialising in graphics design, and video editing.