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SFT innovations honoured internationally at the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva

5 May 2023

Research & Innovation

"AI-Assisted Design of Functional Clothing for Scoliosis Treatment" awarded a Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury

"A Sport-Specific Soft Manikin System for Sports Bra Design" awarded a Gold Medal

"Revolutionary Mussel-inspired Polyester for Next Generation Sportswear and Functional Clothing" awarded a Gold Medal

"Safe and Eco-friendly Antimicrobial Materials with High Efficiency" awarded a Gold Medal

"Long-lasting Self-disinfecting Materials Technology" awarded a Gold Medal

Five impactful innovations from SFT garnered one Gold Medals with Congratulations of the Jury and four Gold Medals at the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (Geneva Inventions Expo), widely regarded as among the most important annual global events devoted exclusively to inventions. This year, about 1,000 inventions from about 40 countries and regions were attracted.

These award-winning innovations improve people’s lives and expand humankind’s horizons. In addition, these innovations help the world adapt prepare for future pandemics, as well as safeguard people’s health and well-being.

Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury: AI-Assisted Design of Functional Clothing for Scoliosis Treatment

Principal investigator: Dr Joanne Yip, Associate Dean and Associate Professor

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This new approach significantly improves scoliosis treatment and the quality of life for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients by adopting AI to create tailor-made functional clothing for treating AIS. Patient data is used to train a decision tree and three neural networks to prescribe and configure the brace, which is then customised by professionals. Optimised designs, e.g., padding placement, tightness of elastic straps and configurable 3D structures, are suggested to enhance functionality, increase wearing comfort, and reduce the wearer’s spinal curvature. This makes an excellent alternative to the heavy and uncomfortable traditional braces prescribed by orthotists.

Gold Medal: A Sport-Specific Soft Manikin System for Sports Bra Design

Principal investigator: Dr Yick Kit-lun, Associate Professor

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This soft manikin system offers a complete solution and scientific guidelines for designing effective sports bras, providing designers with valuable insights. Using simulated skin, breast tissue and human running motion, it can replace human bra fit trials and measures the performance and pressure of sports bras scientifically, objectively and reliably. The biomechanics of breast motion are incorporated to evaluate and optimise the fit, comfort, support, and protection offered by sports bras. It measures bra pressure and sensation comfort, while tracking 3D body and breast motion to assess the bras’ breast control performance in all directions (X, Y and Z).

Gold Medal: Revolutionary Mussel-inspired Polyester for Next Generation Sportswear and Functional Clothing

Principal investigator: Prof. John Xin, Lee Family Professor in Fashion & Textiles, Chair Professor of Textile Chemistry

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Inspired by how marine mussels stick to rocks, this invention improves polyester’s abilities to absorb water, resist odours and prevent static electricity build-up by adding a special polymer which forms a long-lasting bond with the polyester. When sprayed on one side of the polyester, it creates a one-way moisture transport effect, meaning that sweat and water is absorbed by the clothing and transported from the body, keeping the wearer cool and dry. The resulting clothes are more comfortable and hygienic to wear, and can withstand over 100 laundry cycles. This technology is ideal for making sportswear and other functional clothing.

Gold Medal: Safe and Eco-friendly Antimicrobial Materials with High Efficiency

Principal investigators: Prof. Tao Xiaoming, Director, Research Centre of Smart Wearable Technology, Vincent and Lily Woo Endowed Professorship in Textiles Technology, Chair Professor of Textile Technology and Dr Zhang Ziheng, Postdoctoral Fellow; CEO, Ecolar Technology Limited (a PolyU Academic-led start-up)

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Novel proprietary technologies have been developed to prepare highly-efficient, eco-friendly antimicrobial polyhydroxyalkanoate oligomers (PHAOs), which can be used as disinfectants, finishing agents for personal protective equipment, and in PHAO/PA blend yarns. These PHAO materials are ideal for medical applications as they are fully biodegradable, transparent, non-toxic and non-allergic. With wide-spectrum antimicrobial properties, they can eliminate more than 99.99% of S. Aureus, K. pneumoniae, C. albicans, Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, as well as COVID-19, H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Compared with current commercial antimicrobial agents, they are more effective against microbes, safer, more biodegradable, cheaper, and emit less carbon.

Gold Medal: Long-lasting Self-disinfecting Materials Technology

Principal investigators: Dr Chris Lo, Associate Professor, Co-Founder, Immune Materials Limited (a PolyU Academic-led startup) and Prof. Kan Chi-wai, Professor, Co-Founder, Immune Materials Limited

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The world's first antiviral 3D printing technology developed by Immune Materials Limited is used to create products that can eliminate 70% and 99.2% of the pathogens on their surface within two minutes and 20 minutes respectively. It is highly effective in preventing the spread of pathogens, e.g. E. coli and human coronavirus, in settings such as healthcare facilities, schools, and public transportation. The resulting products have a long-lasting performance of over three years, and can be custom-designed in any shapes and sizes. This technology can also be used to produce high-quality, soft, non-toxic and versatile materials, such as vegan leather.


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