Interdisciplinary efforts to drive Chinese medicine development
Groundbreaking invention for implantable bioelectronic devices: Liquid Metal Microelectrodes with soft, stretchable and permeable properties
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is gaining ground, with its global market revenue growing at over 5% annually. In 2019, the World Health Organization started to prepare benchmarking documents for TCM training and practice. Locally, Hong Kong’s first Chinese Medicine Hospital will be completed by 2025. The HKSAR Government’s commitment to support the national blueprints for developing a healthy China and five Chinese Medicine (CM) Highlands in the Greater Bay Area will help institutionalise the TCM industry and elevate the discipline to a higher level.
Interdisciplinary expertise to further CM research
CM has been one of the research foci of PolyU’s Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT) for more than two decades.
To address the growing needs for TCM research and applications, PolyU established the Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI) in 2021. Assembling 60 faculty members from eight departments, RCMI aims to conduct high impact research to provide scientific evidence to elucidate TCM theory for better understanding by the research and medical communities, and the public.
The research centre has identified three directions:
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and liver disease - including re-development of classical and famous TCM formulae; study of TCM efficacy on diabetic retinopathy; and understanding of MetS and liver disease development, beneficial effects of CM in treatment as well as molecular mechanisms
Women’s health - including bone and muscle health, cardiovascular health, mood disorder and pain management, and translation of pre-clinical studies to clinical trials
Integrative solutions for physical wellness - including recovery of physical and cognitive functions in stroke, efficacy and neurophysiology mechanisms of TCM treatment evaluation, Tai Chi, and online TCM-Based wellness programme
In its first year of operation, RCMI won HK$9 million in grants and ten external projects, undertook 28 internally-funded projects, and contributed to seven affiliated publications. Its interdisciplinary pursuits can be exemplified by its collaborative research with the Research Institute for Smart Ageing on the use of TCM for disease prevention and health promotion for elders, involving scholars from the disciplines of biomedical engineering, rehabilitation science, and applied biology and chemical technology. The Centre has signed a collaborative agreement with Increasepharm (HK) to establish a joint laboratory focusing on osteoporosis, dementia, and ocular diseases. It has also signed an agreement with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong to build a clinical research platform for collaborative research and student and staff training.
RCMI focuses on translational clinical research, which promotes preventive health and related treatments, the illustration of TCM theory and action mechanisms using modern tools, new drug development, and empirical evidence of TCM practices for its integration into primary care.
~ Professor Wong Man-sau, Director of RCMI and Professor of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition
You Might Also Like
Knowledge Transfer & Entrepreneurship
PolyU-nurtured startups recognised by Forbes Asia 100 To Watch 2023
Forbes Asia released its 100 to Watch list recently which spotlights small companies and startups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region. Among 15 startups from Hong Kong, three PolyU-nurtured startups, namely Eieling Medical Limited, Fleming...
Research & Innovation
PolyU-Jinjiang Technology and Innovation Research Institute officially unveiled
PolyU and the Jinjiang Municipal People’s Government held a signing cum unveiling ceremony in September. The joint institute, officially inaugurated in Jinjiang, is the first research institute established by PolyU beyond the Greater Bay Area. This...
Ten students awarded scholarships supported by SHKP-Kwoks’ Foundation
Ten undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering, the Department of Building and Real Estate, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have each been awarded a scholarship...