A breakthrough nanostructure for neural stem cell cultivation developed by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has won the TechConnect Global Innovation Award at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, which was held from 17 to 19 June 2019 in the United States.
The award-winning innovation, entitled “Self-assembly of Neural Stem Cells by Biocompatible Sculptured Extracellular Nanomatrices”, was jointly developed by a team led by Professor Ken Yung Kin-lam from the Department of Biology and Associate Professor Dr Jeffery Huang Zhifeng from the Department of Physics. The technology has been licensed to the HKBU start-up company “Mat-A-Cell Limited”.
Professor Rick Wong, HKBU Vice-President (Research and Development), congratulated the research team and said that this prestigious global award is a testament to the potential impact of HKBU innovations and technologies in the community.
The award-winning medical device contains a specific nanotechnology layer for the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in vitro. Compared with traditional methods, the team’s pioneering matrix can reduce the risk of carcinogenesis and inflammation in stem cell therapy – a treatment that offers hope of a cure for currently incurable neurodegenerative diseases, chronic systemic diseases and degenerative joint diseases. An application for a US patent has been filed.
The Global Innovation Awards honours the top 15% of submitted technologies which have the potential to make a positive impact on a specific industry sector. More than 450 submissions from over 70 organisations – including global technology transfer offices, government and corporate research laboratories – were received this year. The TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo is set up to accelerate the commercialisation of innovations out of the lab for application in industry.
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