NANOTEDD research group was formed to initiate and encourage research activities in the area of nanotechnology and tissue engineering.The aim of the group is to participate in academic research activities, as well as to provide an active base for undergraduate and postgraduate research.This group is led by Dr. Che Azurahanim Che Abdullah (DR CACA).
Dr CACA is currently a senior lecturer at Department of Physics, Faculty of Science UPM. She is the pioneer for a multidisciplinary research between material science with nanotechnology and biology in the Department of Physics. The chance given to her to conduct her research in the Surrey Material Institute and Nanobiotech and Centre for Toxicology in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Surrey enhanced her understanding about biomaterials, how can a new material can be manipulated to make it a biomaterial that biocompatible enough to be use either as scaffolds for tissue engineering as well as drug carrier in drug delivery.
The most important is to make sure that the material itself is not toxic before it can be utilized. Apart from the material preparation and characterization, she has capability of growing animal cell culture in vitro and handling several microscopy such as Raman Spectroscopy, Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Her work on CNT scaffolds won best Poster Award at International NANOCON Conference, in Brno Czech Republic in year 2011. In May 2014, she was invited to serve on the Review Editorial Board of Carbon-Based Materials, which is a specialty of Frontiers in Materials. In March 2015, she was selected as one of the participants to attend Early Career Researcher Young Scientist Awards, fully sponsored by British Council UK-Malaysia.
She also appointed to be one of the invited speakers, represent Malaysia for 1st International Symposium for Women Researchers on Advanced Science and Technology conjugated with Seminar for Young Researchers in Fukouka, Japan. To date, Dr CACA supervising three Master students working on nanomaterials for anticancer drug delivery, gene delivery and water purification, co-supervises 4 PhD students and 6 Master students and supervised more than 15 Bachelor students from various faculties such as Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering, as well as Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. The main contributors to Dr CACA researches include the Research University Grant Scheme (RUGS).
Dr CACA has strong links with both local and international research collaborators. She is still in touch with her PhD supervisor Dr Richard Sear at University of Surrey. For material science, she worked with Professor Alan Dalton at University of Sussex and Professor Ray Baughman group at Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas, USA.
Alan experts in both carbon nanotubes and graphene based nanomaterials while Baughman’s group fabricated aligned multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs) for application in electronics and engineering. In addition, she have learned a lot about Raman spectroscopy for detection of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) following uptake by cells under guidance of Dr Alan Dalton (Surrey Material Institute) and for toxicity of MWNTs as carrier and scaffolds by Dr Nick Plant at Centre for Toxicology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Her expertise in using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to measure the thickness of extracellular matrix protein was instructed by Professor Joseph Keddie, one of Reader in Physics at Surrey.
In terms of immunofluorescence, she gained in depth knowledge related to staining and imaging from Dr Lisi Meira, Dr Alexandra and Rebecca Holland. One of her established collaboration is with Professor Padmanabhan at Medical Faculty, NTU Singapore. In Japan, she collaborates with Associate Professor Yuki Shirosaki and Toshiki Miyazaki at Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) Japan for biomaterials related research. The latest collaboration she established is with Professor Olliver at University of Zurich (microgravity) and Professor Fernandes at INEB – Instituto de Engineering Biomedical, University of Porto for neural tissue engineering. Currently within UPM she collaborates with Associate Prof Dr Latifah Saiful Yazan in Department of Biomedical Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Dr Mas Jaffri Masaruddin in Faculty of Biotechnology, Prof Dr Robiah Yunus and Associate Prof Dr Suraya Abdul Rashid from Chemical Engineering and within Faculty of Science she works closely with Dr Hafiz from Biology and team up with Professor Basyaruddin Abdul Rahman, Dr Janet Lim, Dr Haslina, and Dr Norizah from Chemistry department. She also actively collaborate with USM, HUSM, UKM, HUKM, UTM and UTHM.