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NCKU Announces Collaborate with ITRI on Biomedical-Device Related Technology

With the launch of "Biotechnology Takeoff Package" by the Executive Yuan, biotechnology-related industry has been specially selected for intensive development in the southern Taiwan. Meanwhile, the economic value added on the industry of biomedical technology and medical device has skyrocketedly soared. Therefore, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), one of the first established tertiary colleges specializing in engineering in Taiwan and the main leading university in Southern Taiwan, has taken up this responsibility and opportunity in supporting development of medical-device related technology in Southern Taiwan with its excellent faculty and human resources. One of the examples is reflected on the recent opening of NCKU-ITRI laboratory for biomedical technology on May 7th.

The Medical Electronics and Device Technology Center (MED) of Industrial Technology Research Center (ITRI) launched an opening ceremony on May 7th for the establishment of the laboratory at NCKU Tzu-Chiang Campus. The ceremony was featured with many renowned attendees, such as Dr. Shing-Yuan Tsai, ITRI Vice President and South Executive Director, Dr. Yio Wha Shau, Director of ITRI Medical Electronics and Device Technology Center, Professor Wen-Teng Wu, the Dean of NCKU College of Engineering, and other representatives from industries, government, academia, research and biomedical industrial sectors. This NCKU-ITRI laboratory is aiming to establish a research platform, liaising with 17 other academic and research institutes in southern Taiwan in order to strengthen the industries of biomedical technology in electronics and devices.

Aiming to upgrade the service and followed by the establishment of southern office at ITRI Southern Branch in April 2008, this year ITRI MED conjointly with NCKU built a laboratory in NCKU campus, which has been playing a leading role in researches and developments among academic institutes in southern Taiwan and the Southern Taiwan Science Park. The conjointly-built laboratory for ITRI-MED is aiming to make the best use of NCKU research achievements it has chalked up over the years and the expertise it has been in the areas of engineering and medicine. Apart from these goals, NCKU lab for ITRI MED will also make efforts to bolster the industrial value chain and strengthen the second leg of effort to commercialize research successes.

In the opening address, Professor Wen-Teng Wu welcomed the establishment of ITRI MED Lab for medical devices at NCKU. He claimed that the collaboration is expected to bring Taiwan's medical-device related and biomedical industries and environment to international standards and help the biomedical industry take root and prosper on Taiwan, especially in Southern Taiwan Science Park, which is located in between ITRI South Branch and NCKU. "NCKU College of Engineering has been ranked the 18th in research output, outnumbering NTU's ranked 25th, according to the public release from Issue No.19 of Evaluation Bimonthly. NCKU has also made great achievements on industry-academia collaboration," added Professor Wu. "Our goals will be carried out by making the best use of NCKU superior research achievements on engineering and medicine," added Prof. Wu.

Dr. Shing-Yuan Tsai, ITRI Vice President and South Executive Director and also a NCKU alumnus, mentioned that precision machinery industrial sectors provide advantageous foundation to the development of medical electronics and device technology. The development of homecare and remedial appliances will be selected as primary step of collaboration with NCKU College of Engineering and Medicine. "Efforts will be made to foster and train research talents for medical-device related industry as well as to generate rapid development of and foster momentum in southern Taiwan’s biotech industries," said Dr. Tsai.

A keynote speech, entitled "how can Taiwan's medical-device related industries conquer global financial downturns" delivered by Mr. Bin Chen, the Chairman of Taiwan Medical and Biotech Industry Association, was also offered after the opening ceremony.

ITRI also showcased its research and development achievements on medical devices, three of which mainly focus on physiological monitoring systems, biomedical detection technology and rehabilitation & remedial appliances. All of the key fields unfold that the current trend of medical device is on miniaturization, intelligence and personalization.

One of the examples could be observed on the "POCT Microsample Analyzer". Without need of sophisticated pre-sampling process and blood drawing, this analyzer takes very short time on analysis with integration of biochemical, immunization and electrical engineering techniques. The specially-designed loading plate and fluorescent enzyme reagent enable people to diagnose their body with only two drops of blood in 15 minutes without any sacrifice in accuracy to offer easiness and convenience for human beings.

"Rapid Microfluidic Diagnostic Biochip" is another example, which is an automatic micro-biomedical device providing convenience and safety along with the needed physiologic information to users. All the diagnosis can be automatically completed in one plastic chip without electricity, nor the used batteries. "Distributed Healthcare Information Monitoring System," which integrates the concept of digital house, is a user-friendly device. It also automatically transmits the diagnosis results to the center platform, where medical experts can monitor the users' online health condition. This system can also be updated with clinical databases to accelerate the development of distributed healthcare system.

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