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PolyU develops novel anti-virus 3D printing material that terminates over 90% of COVID-19 in 10 minutes

An interdisciplinary research team formed by the Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) and the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT) at PolyU has successfully developed the world's first “anti-virus 3D printing material” that can eliminate over 90% of the COVID-19 viruses on a surface within 10 minutes, and terminate almost all viruses and bacteria in 20 minutes. The main component of the material is resin, added with anti-viral agents such as cationic compounds, to pierce the cell membrane of the virus and destroy its structure to kill the virus and bacteria. The material can be produced in different forms using 3D printing technology, and could be used extensively in public facilities to provide epidemic prevention support to the community. The research team has collaborated with different organizations such as the Home Affairs Department and the Hong Kong Wetland Park over the past year to produce recycling bin handles, toilet doorknob covers, lift buttons, braille boards and more. As the disinfection components of the material are embedded in the products rather than coated on the surface, daily cleaning with disinfectants such as bleach does not compromise its anti-virus performance. The team has applied patent of this technology and application, and will put it into commercial use in the future. For more details, please visit the PolyU website.

13 Jan, 2022

ABCT Flag Raising Ceremony

PolyU ABCT Flag-raising ceremony on 3 January 2022

In celebration of the 85th anniversary of PolyU, the University is hosting regular Flag-Raising Ceremony to pay tribute to our motherland and the accomplishments of our country.  ABCT is very proud to be the first academic unit to host the ceremony on 3 January 2022. Thanks to the great support and enthusiastic participation of over 120 colleagues and students on that day, the event was completed smoothly.

3 Jan, 2022

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Prof. Wing-tak Wong appointed as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification

We are delighted to announce that Prof. Wing-tak Wong, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, was appointed by the Chief Executive as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification (HKCTC) for two years with effect from January 1, 2022. Prof. Wong served as Head of Department of ABCT in 2009-2015 and Dean of FAST in 2015-2020, as well as the Director of the University Research Facility in Chemical and Environmental Analysis in 2015 – 2020. He has played a vital part in establishing four state-of-the-art University Research Facilities, namely Materials Characterisation & Device Fabrication, Life Sciences, Big Data Analytics, and Chemical and Environmental Analysis. He was a key driver in setting up the Food Safety and Technology Research Centre in 2011 to address the societal need for professional advice on food related issues. Since 2020, he has been serving as a member of HKCTC. The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, welcomed the appointment of Prof. Wong, and said that the Council would benefit from his ample leadership experience and expert insights in chemical technology.

30 Dec, 2021

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PolyU’s anti-cancer drug research to bring commercial and health benefits

ABCT researchers have played a significant role in cancer research over the years and have led to the development of new anti-cancer drugs. Pegtomarginase, which was initially developed by the research team led by Professors Thomas Leung and Thomas Lo in the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology and Lo Ka Chung Research Center for Natural Anti-Cancer Drug Development at PolyU, is further developed and exploited by Avalon Polytom and Athenex for the treatment of patients with advanced malignancies. They received U.S. FDA allowance of Investigational New Drug (IND) Application in 2019, and this second-generation human arginase (PT01 – Pegtomarginase) is further granted to enter into clinical trial phrase 1, a significant milestone for this anti-cancer drug development with researchers’ innovation and strong execution capabilities at the companies commitment to commercializing novel technologies for the treatment of a wide range of cancers. Congratulations to the team in making such a significant advancement in cancer drug development!

8 Dec, 2021

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Second Prize of Oral Presentation and Best Poster Presentation Award at the 28th Symposium on Chemistry Postgraduate Research in Hong Kong

The 28th Symposium on Chemistry Postgraduate Research in Hong Kong was finished successfully on 6 November 2021. The event consists of a Keynote Lecture delivered by Prof. Kai Johnsson from Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, an Oral Session presented by representative postgraduate students from the six local universities and an online Poster Session showcasing 185 posters in three areas including Analytical, Environmental, and Biochemistry; Organic and Materials Chemistry; and Physical and Inorganic Chemistry.   ABCT has won two awards in the Symposium this year, including the Second Prize of Oral Presentation by Mr. LAM Long Yin (RPg student of Dr MA Cong) with his winning presentation entitled “C-S coupling for thioether synthesis using stable and safe commodity chemicals”; and the Best Poster Presentation Award in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry by Mr. CHOW Chiu Lok Joshua (RPg student of Dr KWOK Wai Ming) with his winning poster entitled “Ultrafast Broadband Transient Absorption Study on the Excitation Dynamic of Human Telomeric RNA (TERRA) G-quadruplex”.   The Symposium on Chemistry Postgraduate Research in Hong Kong was established in 1994, and has become a major annual event for the local Chemistry community. It provides a platform for postgraduate students to present their recent advancement and foster collaborations between researchers.   Let us take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. LAM Long Yin and Mr. Chow Chiu Lok Joshua on receiving the honors!

6 Nov, 2021

Awards

PolyU-Yakult Joint Research Lab

PolyU and Yakult co-established the world’s first Joint Research Laboratory for Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Health

PolyU has received a generous donation of HK$2 million from Hong Kong Yakult Co. Ltd. (Yakult) to establish the “PolyU-Yakult Joint Research Laboratory for Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Health”. It promotes interdisciplinary research in the fields of food science and human health, and focus on the cutting-edge research of probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention and treatment of intestinal, brain diseases, eczema and women’s health. Probiotics and prebiotics are hot topics in nutrition and their positive effects on human health are being widely discussed these days. Dr William Tai Chi-shing, Executive Director of the Joint Lab, and his team study the therapeutic potential of different probiotics and prebiotics in inflammatory bowel disease with mouse models. Preliminary results show that probiotic therapy can significantly modulate inflammatory responses and help restore impaired intestinal structure. Dr Tai believes that evidence-based research will form a basis to increase awareness and understanding of probiotics and prebiotics amongst the public and contribute to the entire world. The Joint Research Lab is under the newly established PolyU Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood). Dr Wong Ka Hing, Director of RiFood, introduced the Human Intestine Extracorporeal Simulation System (SHIME), an in vitro simulator of the human digestion system which helps to obtain detailed data for developing new approaches in the prevention or treatment of diseases with probiotics.

20 Oct, 2021

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ABCT PhD Graduate Achieved the FAST Outstanding PhD Thesis Award 2020/21

We are delighted to announce that Dr. YE Jiqing, ABCT PhD graduate under supervision of Dr. MA Cong, has received the FAST Outstanding PhD Thesis Award 2020/21.  The FAST Outstanding PhD Thesis Awards Scheme aims to recognise the outstanding PhD students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles (FAST) for the high quality of their theses produced during their studies at PolyU. Dr. Ye’s research focuses on the development of new antibacterial agents. His winning thesis, entitled “Discovery of Antimicrobials Targeting RNA Polymerase-Sigma Factor Interaction”, covered the original work on the discovery of inhibitors of interactions between RNAP core enzyme and sigma factor as putative antimicrobial agents.  Dr. Ye’s thesis has demonstrated high creativity and significance on human health. The results and findings from his research work has directly contributed to three high quality journal papers as first author and two awards from symposiums.  Let us take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Ye for his achievement and honor!   We are delighted to announce that Dr. YE Jiqing, ABCT PhD graduate under supervision of Dr. MA Cong, has received the FAST Outstanding PhD Thesis Award 2020/21.  The FAST Outstanding PhD Thesis Awards Scheme aims to recognise the outstanding PhD students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles (FAST) for the high quality of their theses produced during their studies at PolyU. Dr. Ye’s research focuses on the development of new antibacterial agents. His winning thesis, entitled “Discovery of Antimicrobials Targeting RNA Polymerase-Sigma Factor Interaction”, covered the original work on the discovery of inhibitors of interactions between RNAP core enzyme and sigma factor as putative antimicrobial agents.  Dr. Ye’s thesis has demonstrated high creativity and significance on human health. The results and findings from his research work has directly contributed to three high quality journal papers as first author and two awards from symposiums.  Let us take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Ye for his achievement and honor!  

6 Oct, 2021

Awards

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Microbial solution for microplastic pollution

It takes hundreds and thousands of years for plastic to decompose, and in most cases, plastic breaks into small pieces and ends up in rivers and oceans. Microplastics can be harmful to the environment and aquatic life, and there is no effective solution to capture and remove these tiny plastic fragments from the water yet. To solve the problem, 𝗗𝗿 𝗝𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗙𝗔𝗡𝗚, a marine biologist who studies pollutants and toxins in marine environments, team up with 𝗗𝗿 𝗖𝗛𝗨𝗔 𝗦𝗼𝗻𝗴-𝗹𝗶𝗻, a microbiologist focuses on bacterial pathogenesis research, to develop an innovative approach in removing microplastics from water. Find out about their approach at PolyU Excel x Impact:  https://www.polyu.edu.hk/publications/excelximpact/issue/202107/research-innovation/microbial-solution-for-microplastic-pollution

20 Sep, 2021

News

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Croucher Innovation Award Franco Leung

We are most delighted to announce that Dr Franco Leung King-chi, Assistant Professor of ABCT, has received the 2021 Croucher Innovation Award in recognition of his expertise and achievements in nanotechnology. The award will give him funding from the Croucher Foundation totalling HK$5 million to support his research expenses. The Croucher Innovation Awards aim to identify a small number of exceptionally talented scientists working at an internationally competitive level and to offer substantial support to these "rising stars" at the formative stage of their careers. The Awards are designed to enable recipients to pursue their own scientific, intellectual and professional inclinations, to advance their expertise, to engage in bold new work, and to contribute to the development of education and research in Hong Kong. The Awards will be presented at a virtual Awards Presentation Ceremony in December 2021. Nature, as a source of inspiration to scientists, encodes numerous supramolecular assembled systems that perform sophisticated biological functions. Dr Leung's research focuses on developing a research platform for fabricating novel biomimetic supramolecular soft functional materials with the smallest machine in the world - "artificial molecular machinery". This research approach creates photoresponsive soft materials with excellent biocompatibility for advanced biomedical materials and related technological developments. Congratulations, Dr Leung! Please visit the Croucher Foundation website for more information about Dr Leung: https://scholars.croucher.org.hk/scholars/franco-king-chi-leung

8 Jun, 2021

Awards

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PolyU develops biomimetic nanosheet for cancer therapy and imaging

New cancer treatments emerge since conventional cancer treatments like surgical therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have different limitations and side effects. The biology and chemical experts of ABCT have been dedicated to new drug development and breakthroughs in oncology research and cancer treatments to cure the disease. An ABCT research team led by Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Chair Professor of Chemical Technology (also the Deputy President and Provost of PolyU), has developed a novel type of biomimetic nanosheet with a multi-modal imaging function, which can track tumour development and treatment processes in real-time. By harnessing two emerging cancer therapies, namely immunotherapy and photothermal therapy, the biomimetic nanosheet enables effective and precise treatment of tumours, which will significantly improve the therapeutic outcome of tumours, reduce side effects and increase patients' survival rates. The research findings have been published in the prestigious international journal Advanced Science. Dr Summy LO Wai-sum said, "The biomimetic nanosheets developed by our team allow us to combine immunotherapy and photothermal therapy for synergistic therapy. By applying the synergistic therapy in an experiment for colorectal tumour treatment, we found that it is more effective than single therapy and has fewer side effects on the human body." On the other hand, the PolyU-developed biomimetic nanosheets can also achieve the goals of theranostics. By harnessing magnetic, optical and thermal properties, the nanomaterials enable three imaging modalities, namely magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and photothermal imaging (PTI), for real-time tracing and tracking of the tumour sites and the nanosheets, in order to achieve multimodal diagnosis in cancer treatment. The team carried out experiments on mice bearing subcutaneous colorectal tumours to investigate the application in living animals. The study showed that the tumour volume had significantly reduced after 25 days of synergistic therapy, whereas the survival rate of the mice was three times higher than that of the control groups. The major organs of the mice, including the heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney, showed no obvious inflammation and damage, demonstrating high biosafety and low toxicity. The research team also utilised the MRI and photoacoustic imaging capabilities of the biomimetic nanosheet to observe the tumour for 24 hours, visualising the targeting and accumulation of the nano-theranostic material at the tumour site. The experiment proved that PolyU-developed biomimetic nanosheets, with multi-modal imaging capability, can offer accurate and comprehensive detection and evaluation of tumour development, ultimately achieving theranostics alongside synergistic therapeutic effects. It provides a practical design blueprint for the development of a new generation of cancer theranostics agents which have high targeting ability, efficacy and safety. Dr. Lo said the team will further expand the application of this nanomaterial to other cancer therapies and study the metabolism of the nanosheet in the living body, thus benefiting more cancer patients. For more information, please visit: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/media/media-releases/2021/0531_polyu-develops-biomimetic-nanosheet-for-cancer-therapy-and-imaging/

31 May, 2021

News

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