Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof James Jing Kwan

Deputy Executive Director, HealthTech, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Asst Prof James Jing Kwan

James Kwan is an Assistant Professor at the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at NTU (SCBE) and the Co-director of NTU Institute for Health Technology (HealthTech NTU). He is currently developing non-invasive health technologies with a focus on improving therapeutic efficacy and patient quality of life by using ultrasound-enhanced strategies. He was awarded the W.W. Spooner Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford for his work in ultrasound-based strategies for drug delivery. James’ work to date on ultrasound systems has resulted in invited presentations and lectures around the world, peer-reviewed journal articles in prestigious journals such as Journal of Controlled Release, Small, and Theranostics, and co-authored book chapters. These publications have accrued over 600 citations in total. Additionally, he has co-filed two patents, which have been licensed to separate spinout companies in the USA and UK.
Research Interests
To date, there are numerous unmet challenges that face therapies for cancer, cardiovascular, and neurological disorders. These challenges often stem from the substantial physiological barriers that prevent drug therapies from passively entering into diseased tissue. For example, tumors often have heightened internal pressure that hinders the entry of all classes of chemotherapeutic agent. Similarly, the blood vessels in the brain have an innate barrier to prevent large molecules from entering. As a result, many of these therapies either rely of excessive use of the therapeutic, or resort to life changing surgeries to overcome these barriers.

My group seeks to develop non-invasive health technologies that minimises damaging side effects of treatments whilst maximising the therapeutic efficacy and quality of life in patients. To do so, we focus on using biomedical ultrasound as a non-invasive modality to provide therapy across a broad range of illnesses. Using ultrasound allows us to use and external force to illicit a mechanical or thermal response at depth within the human body.

Ultimately, it is our goal to improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from debilitating diseases by mitigating the damaging side effects of potent drugs or replacing invasive surgical interventions with less invasive alternatives. Furthermore, many of these techniques can also be applied towards industrial applications such as biofilm removal.

We are currently working on three major projects:

1) Remote implantation of bioresorbable ultrasound responsive particles for the treatment of atherosclerosis
2) Study the effects of ultrasound on biofilm producing bacteria
3) Design and develop ultrasound-induced hydrogel formation

Our lab is currently funded by:
NTU SUG (SCBE) - 2016 - 2020
NTU-ICES Seed Funding Research Award - 2016 - 2018
NMRC YIRG - 2017 - 2020
AME IAF-PP "Specialty Chemicals" - 2017 - 2020

We are currently looking for a research fellow to work on the remote implantation of bioresorbable ultrasound responsive particles as well as the development of an atherosclerosis model. If you are interested in joining my lab, please email me at For more information, please go to this link:
Current Projects
  • Augmented Reality for Chemical Engineering Unit Operations (ARCHES)
  • Development of a wearable device to aid maturation of arteriovenous fistuls (AV fistula) in end stage renal disease patients
  • Engineering Anatomy - Build your own cardiovascular system
  • Engineering anatomy - build your own cardiovascular system
  • Novel Dual Responsive Molecular Switch-based Bio-derived and Biodegradable Polymers Forming Gels or Networks for Personal Care Applications
  • Sounding out Bacteria – Understanding the bioeffects of therapeutic ultrasound on medical biofilms
  • Treating Atherosclerosis with Remote Implantation of Bioresorbable Drug Eluting Particles
  • Ultrasound-Responsive Materials and nano/Micro-Devices for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications
Selected Publications
  • Reju George Thomas, Umesh Jonnalagadda, and James Jing Kwan. (2019). Biomedical Applications for Gas-Stabilizing Solid Cavitation Agents. Langmuir, .
  • Xiaoqian Su, Reju George Thomas, Lakshmi Deepika Bharatula, James J. Kwan. (2019). Remote targeted implantation of sound-sensitive biodegradable multi-cavity microparticles with focused ultrasound. Scientific Reports, .

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