The Tissue Modulation Laboratory


We coined the term "tissue modulation" at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to characterise research that aims to positively influence the development and composition of tissue in relevant clinical situations, such as wound healing and repair.

The TML logo consists of a cell (circle), a molecule of proline, the signature amino acid of collagen (pentagon), and the collagen triple-helix, the typical quaternary structure of the most abundant extracellular matrix protein. This represents the function of cells in the context of their highly complex extracellular environment.

TML - an international research group

The Tissue Modulation Laboratory (TML) is an interdisciplinary and international group of researchers and clinician-scientists, currently based at the Tissue Engineering Programme of the National University of Singapore (NUSTEP). We come from such diverse fields as biotechnology, biomedical engineering and medicine, and are united by our common goal of bringing clinically useful tissue modulation from our workbench to the patient's bedside.

Since 2003, TML has hosted students and researchers from Singapore, Germany, Greece, France, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Hungary, China, India, USA, Malaysia, Australia, and the UK. Our collaborators are based in Singapore, Germany, Ireland, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Finland, and France.

Cutting-edge research

Our longest-standing and most successful biotechnology is macromolecular crowding (MMC), which involves surrounding cell cultures with large, bulky molecules such as polysugars that can speed up many cellular processes. We have used crowding to patent a more efficient method of developing human brown fat cells in vitro, which we hope will ultimately be applied in clinical settings to help obese and diabetic patients lose fat and reduce blood glucose levels.

Laboratory cell culture conditions often do not adequately mimic the complex microenvironments of cells in human patients. TML is providing tissue engineers with advanced tools for studying tissue cultures in vitro by developing collagen- and matrix-enhancing technologies.

Please visit the Research page for more information on TML's projects.