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Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, National University of Singapore

Research Overview

Biofilms are microbial communities with city-like structures and functions, enabling them to play complex roles in diseases and environment. We study, manage and control microbial biofilms in these situations: [1] biofilm interactions with host and environment; [2] development of biofilm control strategies; and [3] biofilm engineering in resource recovery and bioremediation.

Academic and Professional Experiences

Academic Memberships

  • Member, State Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, PolyU
  • Member, Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations, PolyU
  • Member, American Society of Microbiology (ASM)

Academic Services (Editor)

  • 2019 – present Reviewing Editor, Frontiers in Microbiology
  • 2022 – present Special Issue Editor, Pathogens

Research Interests

  • Microbial biofilm physiology
  • Microbial biofilm interactions with host and environment
  • Microbial biofilm control
  • Microbial biofilm engineering in environment


  • 2021  Early Career Investigator, Interstellar Initiative (awarded by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS))
  • 2016  Lee Kong Chian Medicine Fellowship, Singapore
  1. Chua SL, Fang JKH, Liu SY. 2021. Microbial-based method that accumulate and release plastic particles for recovery, 63/275,022.
  2. Chua SL, Khoo BL, Liu SY. 2021. Microfluidic Platform for Infection Models. US Patent Pending, 63/201,348.
  3. Chua SLKhoo B. L. & Liao, J. 2021, Microfluidics for label-free detection of pathogen-infected phagocytes. US Patent Pending, 63/150,716
  4. Chua SL, Khoo B. L. & Deng, Y., 2020. Microfluidic Device and Method of Preparing A Cell Model for Disease Associated with Cancer. US Patent Pending, 63/091,449


  1. Liu SY, Deng Y, Chen CK, Khoo BL, Chua SL*. Rapid detection of microorganisms in a fish infection microfluidics platform. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2022;431:128572.
  2. Li S, Liu SY, Chan SY, Chua SL*. Biofilm matrix cloaks bacterial quorum sensing chemoattractants from predator detection.The ISME Journal. 2022;
  3. Ma Y, Chua SL*. No collateral antibiotic sensitivity by alternating antibiotic pairs. The Lancet Microbe. 2022;3(1):e7.
  4. Kwok T-y, Ma Y, Chua SL*. Biofilm dispersal induced by mechanical cutting leads to heightened foodborne pathogen dissemination. Food Microbiology. 2022;102:103914.
  5. Liao J, Ren J, Wei H, Lam RHW, Chua SL*, Khoo BL. Label-free biosensor of phagocytosis for diagnosing bacterial infections. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2021;191:113412.
  6. Deng Y, Liu SY, Chua SL*, Khoo BL. The effects of biofilms on tumor progression in a 3D cancer-biofilm microfluidic model. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2021;180:113113.
  7. Liu SY, Leung MM-L, Fang JK-H*, Chua SL*. Engineering a microbial ‘trap and release’ mechanism for microplastics removal. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2021;404:127079.
  8. Chan SY, Liu SY, Seng Z, Chua SL*. Biofilm matrix disrupts nematode motility and predatory behavior. The ISME Journal. 2021;15(1):260-9.
  9. Mok N, Chan SY, Liu SY, Chua SL*. Vanillin inhibits PqsR-mediated virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Food & Function. 2020;11(7):6496-508.
  10. Yu M, Chua SL*. Demolishing the great wall of biofilms in Gram-negative bacteria: To disrupt or disperse? Medicinal Research Reviews. 2020;40(3):1103-16.
  11. Chua SL, Liu Y, Li Y, Jun Ting H, Kohli GS, Cai Z, et al. Reduced Intracellular c-di-GMP Content Increases Expression of Quorum Sensing-Regulated Genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2017;7(451).
  12. Chua SL, Yam JKH, Hao P, Adav SS, Salido MM, Liu Y, et al. Selective labelling and eradication of antibiotic-tolerant bacterial populations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Nature Communications. 2016;7(1):1-11.
  13. Chua SL*, Ding Y, Liu Y, Cai Z, Zhou J, Swarup S, et al. Reactive oxygen species drive evolution of pro-biofilm variants in pathogens by modulating cyclic-di-GMP levels. Open Biol. 2016;6(11).
  14. Chua SL, Sivakumar K, Rybtke M, Yuan M, Andersen JB, Nielsen TE, et al. C-di-GMP regulates Pseudomonas aeruginosa stress response to tellurite during both planktonic and biofilm modes of growth. Scientific reports. 2015;5(1):10052.
  15. Chua SL, Hultqvist LD, Yuan M, Rybtke M, Nielsen TE, Givskov M, et al. In vitro and in vivo generation and characterization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm-dispersed cells via c-di-GMP manipulation. Nat Protoc. 2015;10(8):1165-80.
  16. Wang VB, Chua SL, Cai Z, Sivakumar K, Zhang Q, Kjelleberg S, et al. A stable synergistic microbial consortium for simultaneous azo dye removal and bioelectricity generation. Bioresour Technol. 2014;155:71-6.
  17. Tan SY-Y, Liu Y, Chua SL, Vejborg RM, Jakobsen TH, Chew SC, et al. Comparative Systems Biology Analysis To Study the Mode of Action of the Isothiocyanate Compound Iberin on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 2014;58(11):6648-59.
  18. Chua SL, Liu Y, Yam JKH, Chen Y, Vejborg RM, Tan BGC, et al. Dispersed cells represent a distinct stage in the transition from bacterial biofilm to planktonic lifestyles. Nature communications. 2014;5(1):4462.
  19. Wang VB, Chua SL, Cao B, Seviour T, Nesatyy VJ, Marsili E, et al. Engineering PQS Biosynthesis Pathway for Enhancement of Bioelectricity Production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Microbial Fuel Cells. PLOS ONE. 2013;8(5):e63129.
  20. Tan SY, Chua SL, Chen Y, Rice SA, Kjelleberg S, Nielsen TE, et al. Identification of five structurally unrelated quorum-sensing inhibitors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from a natural-derivative database. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013;57(11):5629-41.
  21. Liu Y, Tan SY-Y, Yang L, Givskov M, Chua SL, Høiby N, et al. Comparative Genomic Analysis of Rapid Evolution of an Extreme-Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Clone. Genome biology and evolution. 2013;5(5):807-18.
  22. Chua SL, Tan SY, Rybtke MT, Chen Y, Rice SA, Kjelleberg S, et al. Bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric GMP regulates antimicrobial peptide resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013;57(5):2066-75.
  • Rybtke M, Chua SL, Yam JKH, Givskov M, Yang L, Tolker-Nielsen T. Gauging and Visualizing c-di-GMP Levels in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Using Fluorescence-Based Biosensors. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1657:87-98.
  • Yang L, Chua SL. Proteogenomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Cystic Fibrosis Infections. MALDITOF and Tandem MS for Clinical Microbiology. 2017

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