Dr. Chii-Wan Lin (first right), ITRI’s Vice President and General Director of Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories, exhibits the iPMx Molecular Rapid Test System to President Tsai Ing-Wen (second right) at ITRI’s booth at BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020.
BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020 took place at the end of July in Taipei, with nearly 500 companies showcasing their innovative technologies at over 1,000 booths. For the exhibition, ITRI focused on four core areas: smart medical electronics, regenerative medicine, pharmaceutical R&D, and epidemic prevention while presenting 15 technological innovations. These included the world’s first Single-lens 3D Endoscopy Imaging Module, a novel targeted drug for glaucoma, and a molecular rapid test system to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Dr. Chii-Wann Lin, Vice President and General Director of the Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories at ITRI, said that in the era of smart healthcare, the integration of technology from multiple disciplines is necessary in every application. “Whether it is for medical treatment, diagnostics, healthcare or rehabilitation, we need smarter solutions to provide more precise results and lower the demand for medical manpower,” he said. Dr. Lin added that ITRI has been proactively planning its 2030 Technology Strategy & Roadmap and focusing its efforts on applications in the Quality Health domain. It will continue to facilitate vertical integration in the industry to transform multidisciplinary biotechnology applications into business opportunities that benefit the public.
The highlights ITRI demonstrated during BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020 include:
While traditional endoscopic brain surgery uses 2D imaging and requires an opening one to two centimeters in length, ITRI developed the world’s first Single-lens 3D Endoscopy Imaging Module. The module integrates biomedical engineering with optoelectronics technology and features a 0.4 cm 3D imaging probe to meet clinical needs. It removes the 2D limitations such as flatness and narrow space and thus offers the surgeon a wide field of view and crystal clear images during operation. Moreover, the system can reduce the rate of surgical errors by 40% and the operation duration by 25%, overcoming the hurdles in intracranial surgery.
The Single-lens 3D Endoscopy Imaging Module offers a wide field of view and clear images for surgeons.
ITRI’s conductive coating for medical implants can prevent adhesion issues.
Medical implants may cause potential risks including adhesion formation, immune response, bacterial infection, and device failure. To avoid these problems, ITRI developed a world-leading next-generation conductive coating for implantable medical devices. The technology leverages surface modification technology to introduce electrical conductivity while demonstrating high adherence and low resistance, which can reduce the likelihood of adhesion by over 100 times compared to an uncoated electrode. The coating prevents the interference between the implant and tissue and lengthens the lifetime of the implantable device, avoiding the consequent second operation due to adhesion. The technology also allows for property customization and shortened production time.
The novel targeted drug for Glaucoma mitigates conventional treatment side effects.
According to WHO statistics, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Currently, most glaucoma cases are treated with eye drops and oral medication. However, about 40 to 50 percent of patients develop drug resistance and side effects such as dark circles under the eyes, sunken eyes, and red eyes. ITRI designed a novel ROCK inhibitor that can lower stiffness and outflow resistance of trabecular meshwork and modulate over 80% of aqueous humor excretion through conventional outflow mechanism. ITRI is obtaining related patents and hopes to transfer the technology by next year.
The test system adopts the qPCR approach and has four key features: (1) High Precision: Accuracy is over 90%; (2) High Sensitivity: Virus can be detected in the early stage of infection; (3) Lightweight: The canister weighs only 600 grams, which is 57 times lighter than traditional testing devices, making it easy to carry around; (4) High Efficiency: Only one hour is needed to complete the test, which is 1/4 the time needed by existing tests. iPMX participated in the COVID-19 Proficiency Test of the Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) and demonstrated excellent performance by yielding correct results for all samples. The system has been granted the COVID-19 related EUA on Manufacturing of Medical Devices from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) on July 6, and a trial production of 10 kits and 10,000 reagents was completed in August.
iPMx Molecular Rapid Test System is precise, sensitive, lightweight, and highly efficient.