Innovation in education
ALL four Monash University Malaysia teams were awarded gold medals at the recent 2016 International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition ( Itex).
Organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society ( MINDS), the exhibition aims to cultivate the ability to think critically – a quality separating innovators from followers.
Inventions were judged based on the following criteria: novelty, inventiveness, usefulness and application, presentation and demonstration, market and commercial potential and environmental friendliness.
The first invention was a UV LED ( light- emitting diode) mask aligner system by Dr Narayanan Ramakrishnan and PhD student Lee Neam Heng from the School of Engineering.
The lithography technique is the driving force in the patterning technique, where electronic chips as small as 22nm are produced.
Out of the many lithography techniques used in IC ( integrated circuit) fabrication, UV lithography is one of the most common methods.
A mask aligner is generally used for carrying lithography processes and the investment of the type of setups can be quite expensive.
In Malaysia, the IC fabrication industries, research and development institutions, government research centres and universities import these machines at a high cost of RM400,000 to RM500,000 for a basic bench- top system.
With this invention of a UV LED lithography mask aligner system based on solid state lighting devices, production cost can be as low as RM15,000 to RM20,000, with operational functions equivalent to the state- of- the- art bench- top mask aligner system.
The second creation was a world’s first pH- sensitive inorganic nanocrystals by Assoc Prof Md Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury from the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
To serve as an efficient drug transporter, this product is designed based on pH- sensitive and biodegradable inorganic nanoparticles that have properties of electrostatic binding to DNA ( deoxyribonucleic acid), siRNA ( small interfering ribonucleic acid), proteins and small molecule drugs.
It can deliver a capacity across the blood stream and cell membrane efficiently to exert a therapeutic effect.
The third invention was an aquatic animal growth enhancement by Prof Ishwar Parhar, Dr Satoshi Ogawa and Dr Shogo Moriya of the Brain Research Institute Monash Sunway ( BRIMS).
This project develops a new method for the growth enhancement of aquatic animals with a combination of two proteins – kisspeptin and ghrelin.
The last was a biodegradable polymers for drug delivery and wastewater treatment invention by Dr Pushpamalar Janarthanan and Dr Saravanan Muniyandy of the School of Science and School of Pharmacy.
The innovation was based on the concept of modifying polysaccharides in cutting- edge strategies to create something, which can potentially be used in a clinical setting, as well as for future application in the biomedical and pharmaceuticalrelated drug delivery systems.
This can be administered in the gastrointestinal tract to transport anti- cancer drugs to the targeted site efficiently.
These hydrogels are able to deliver anti- cancer drugs to the targeted site without harming normal cells. It also has the ability to enhance the therapeutic effect.
Apart from treating cancer, with both the swellable and pH- sensitive characters, it can also be used to adsorb heavy metals and dyes from industrial wastewater, contributing to better management of wastewater in the agricultural industry.
For more information, visit www. monash. edu. my.