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2017-07 04

[Academics]Ground Breaking Advancement in Medical Magnetic Robot

The era of robots wandering inside a human body for medical treatments is about to face our generation. Though the research is still in the process of developing magnetic fields and improving robots, the actual application of the medical robots is expected to occur in a decade. In his research “Magnetic Navigation System Utilizing Resonant Effect to Enhance Magnetic Field Applied to Magnetic Robots,” professor Jang Gun-hee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering proposes the improvement of the magnetic navigation system (MNS) via RLC (stands for resistor, inductor, and capacitor) circuit in the hope of its medical application. Generation of strong magnetic fields in high frequency When doctors treat for blood vessels related illness like coronary artery diseases or have to execute endoscopic surgeries, they often use catheters (thin tube made from medical grade materials) controlled by their hands and medical, empirical sensations. However, these catheters don’t have the sufficient controllability for the physicians due to their long, flexible wires. “The main point of this research was to minimize the surgical errors that these catheters may incur. So, we decided to make magnetic robots that are microscopic enough to wander inside our vessels,” said Jang. The types of robots currently in technical development are various- fish type robots, wobby-like robots, swimming robots, helical robots, and more. However, the magnetic robots especially intrigue the academia. “Compressed springs inside the robot will spread out, enhancing its drilling capability inside the vessels, which its movements will be guided by the magnetic system. Improvements in this MNS are significantly vital, as every mechanical motion of the magnetic robots is proportional to the external magnetic field,” emphasized Jang. Jang has been working on the magnetic navigation system research for about 12 years, which currently resulted in the torque magnetic field on the right. Through the experiments to unclog the blocked area of tubular environments, Jang and his students researched on a novel MNS with the resonant effect of the RLC circuit. “Simply saying, these robots with the MNS have magnets. When the north pole of the magnet approaches another north pole, it will push, and vice versa in the case of the south pole. This is the simplistic picture of how the magnetic robots and the MNS are working,” said Jang. Advancement to this fundamental phenomenon, Jang refers to the "closed right hand rule" (Ampere Law that relates the net magnetic field along a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop) to explain his research. “In our newly developed MNS, inside the diameter of 50 centimeters wide spherical environment, we can create and control strong magnetic field in any direction which eventually generates useful various mechanical motions of the magnetic robots,” highlighted Jang. Another unconventional discovery of Jang’s research is the application of resonant frequency in the RLC circuit to amplify the magnetic field of the robot. RLC stands for resistance, inductance, and capacitance which all are in the influential relationships in science. When the alternating voltage is increased, the resistance should be divided to flow the current. However, as the alternating frequency of voltage increases, the current decreases due to the inductance of the coil. “We eliminate the effect of inductance with the application of varying capacitance that leads to maximizing the current and the magnetic field in high frequency,” explained Jang. This phenomenon was able to generate fast drilling motion of the magnetic robot to unclog the blocked area of blood vessels. Furthermore, application of the MNS developed a crawling robot that can also deliver drugs into a human body, which Hanyang University gained its international patent of. (Video courtesy of Jang) Hopes for the scientific improvement It has been a decade since Jang has been working on this magnetic robot research. The beginning of all dates back to when his mother was hospitalized due to her coronary artery disease in the heart. “The doctor told me that the illness is genetic and I may also be in danger. So, I thought that rather than believing in the doctor’s hand and the catheter, I should believe in science to develop this surgical methodology and first test on me,” said Jang. During the several years that Jang has been working with his students, he also began to long for fostering his students and their success. “I was always interested in the concept of a motor since I was young. This academic desire eventually led me to become a scholar, but since I became a professor of many students and a father of two daughters, I began to be intrigued to their life-long academic achievements,” reminisced Jang. Ph.D students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering- Lee Won-seo (left) and Nam Jae-kwang (right), also participated in the research with their professor Jang. It is estimated that after more technical amendments of this mechanical robot, it will be capable of testing on animals, and then applied to human surgeries, which will take about a decade. During this journey to scientific achievements, Jang realized that efforts are what science really value. “Just like my students who endeavored all their desires to science to leap higher, I hope that the South Korean scientific academia will also hope for the brighter future,” reminded Jang. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-02 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Al-FCG Ready for Action

Professor Sun Yang-guk of the Department of Energy Engineering is February’s Researcher of the Month for his active role in exploring the field of energy engineering. In his paper, “Compositionally Graded Cathode Material with Long-Term Cycling Stability for Electric Vehicles Application”, Sun explains how adding aluminum into the cathode makes batteries last longer and become more stable compared to other rates of composition. The Al-FCG61 that Sun has developed has shown a high rate of energy efficiency even at 100% depth of discharge (DOD), which draws attention in the field. Sun explains his research with assisted diagrams. As the supply and demand of the electric vehicle is on the rise, most of the batteries in the market last from 150km to 400km, meaning that once the battery is fully charged, the car would move between the distance within. What accounts for the difference is the capacity as to how much cathode can hold up. In order for cars to go beyond 300km at least, the capacity of the cathode would have to be over 200A/h. The only problem to this is that it gets difficult to make it stable and it could blow up. There are various prototypes ranging from generation 1 to generation 4 and the study carried out in Sun's paper is on generation 3. Gradients of different components from inner to outer parts of nickel particle. (Photo courtesy of Sun) Capacity retention, which is the lifespan of a battery, would rise with 61% of nickel with FCG full concentration gradient, which is what Sun has developed in order to create a more stable and long-lasting battery that would hold a larger capacity. Within the mold, Sun has created a two-way particle that contains a high percentage of nickel inside with lower percentage of nickel on the outside. This concentration gradient is created due to the fact that nickel has its advantage of being able to increase the capacity of the battery while it makes the battery more unstable with exothermic reaction. Along with the nickel, Sun has increased the percentage of the manganese inside the particle since it has the advantage of making the cathode more stable. Depth of discharge (DOD) is the rate at which battery is either charged 60% or 100%, and this is tested before electric vehicles are sold for inspection. The average usage of an electric vehicle is at around 2,500 cycles for 10 years, and the Al-FCG has proven to be more energy efficient even at 100%. Most of the batteries do not last long at DOD100 due to the expansion of volume inside the battery. This means that the battery would lose its efficiency as time goes. Al-FCG has shown its Coulombic efficiency rate of 84.5% even at DOD100, while batteries currently in the market show an average of 50% at 2000 cycles. This new battery devised by Sun is not only more energy efficient, but more cost efficient as well. Sun wishes to make more efficient batteries. Sun is continuously researching to keep the DOD level at 100% even after 2000 cycles. With his findings, the electric vehicle industry would definitely benefit hugely in terms of cost and energy efficiency. With different materials, Sun wishes to develop other types of batteries that would bring more comfort to society. Kim Seung-jun nzdave94@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-01 02 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Scientific Integration Approach to Programmable Nuclease (1)

When a baby is identified to have been born with a rare, incurable disease, it would bring about concerns and sorrow to the newborn and the parents. However, with the prospective research on CRISPR Cas-9 system, or a programmable nuclease, a host of diseases will prevented without further ado. Professor Bae Sang-su of the Department of Chemistry explains the mechanism of the CRISPR Cas-9 system through his research “Structural roles of guide RNAs in the nuclease activity of Cas-9 endonuclease”. Also, he reveals the course of his life towards scientific integration that shapes the bright future of scientific studies. Structural properties and significance of CRISPR Cas-9 The significance of this research paper is that it explains the structural mechanisms of the CRISPR Cas-9 system and how it can modify or edit DNAs in cells. CRISPR-Cas 9 stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which relies on a protein named Cas-9. As it is called by the name of 'molecule scissors', it introduces the new spectrum of genome editing technology. Even though there already have been two programmable nuclease systems which are the Zinc Finger Nuclease and the TALENs(Transcriptor Activator Like Effector Nuclease System). The former is the first generation of the genome editing system that is compiled of one zinc finger and three to four nucleases. The title originated from the chemical component zinc, because this DNA contained certain amount of zinc. Then the second generation of genome editing system developed, which was called the TALENs that contained the base named xanthomonas originating from vegetable pathogens. “These two generations were startling contributions to scientific development, but with the advent of the third generation of genome editing, the CRISPR Cas-9 system, the scientific world could not contain its surprise,” said Bae. The CRISPR Cas-9 system was simpler in application to various circumstances and in the modification of DNAs. The significance of the CRISPR Cas-9 system is that it can enhance the welfare of human life in various aspects. “This technology is currently being applied to plants and animals, and also is in process of availing itself to humans by amending laws. Application of the system to humans will take 10 years at the most, since the research is developing at a fast pace,” explained Bae. An example of genome-modified plant through the CRISPR Cas-9 system that Bae provided was a modified mushroom in the United States. Discoloration of mushrooms by time lapse was prevented due to the CRISPR Cas-9 system, and the mushroom could maintain its original color for a long time. Bae explained that “not only does the CRISPR Cas-9 system treat incurable diseases of humans, but it can also modify DNAs in plants and animals to increase marketability.” Bae is explaining the significance of the CRISPR Cas-9 system. However, the genome editing system has been controversial in the scientific academia due to its resemblance to genetically modified organisms, also called GMO. According to Bae, there is a blunt difference between the two because GMO requires DNAs extracted from other organisms to modify the sample, while the CRISPR Cas-9 system modifies DNAs in the sample itself. “Even though some experts call the CRISPR Cas-9 system a part of GMO, the American Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged the genome editing program as a discrete system,” said Bae. Another controversy that the CRISPR Cas-9 system is incurring is the occurrence risk of a tailored baby. Even though there is a low possibility in creation of so called 'monsters', the prospect of the system is inexhaustible that the scientific academia can’t forecast the future application of the CRISPR Cas-9 system. “The application of the system should be discreetly considered and contemplated, in order to prevent any accounts of abuse incurred by a little crack of regulations,” said Bae. Scientific integration approach and its synergy effects One of the reasons why Bae could successfully reveal the mechanism of this newly found technology was due to his academic background. Bae got his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physics, while pursuing chemical studies in his post-doctoral program. Once he became a professor in the chemistry department, he encountered the Method of the Year- 2013 published by Nature Method, which was introducing the new technology, the CRISPR Cas-9 system. As Bae was carried away by the astonishment, he got involved in the genome engineering research in earnest. “Although there could be some drawbacks for me to research biological technology because I majored in physics and chemistry, I thought that I can sublimate these flaws into advantages through scientific integration,” said Bae. Because he majored in physics, he could access the research in a physician’s perspective of ‘how and why’, instead of a biologist’s perspective of ‘so.’ According to Bae, he demonstrated his full potential and capabilities in this research as both physician and chemist, because he could inquire the structural mechanisms of the system and create programs using various physical means like razors. In his teenage years, Bae was interested in studying science since he was a student of natural sciences and engineering. Moment by moment, Bae immersed himself in scientific research, and in his graduate school years, he spent great energy and time researching for scientific development. Due to his diverse academic background, Bae could successfully pursue his amalgamative research in different scientific fields. Now, another approach to scientific integration is in progress, as the CRISPR Cas-9 system is being applied to different fields. “As a scientist researching the CRISPR Cas-9 system, I have to cooperate with experts from profoundly dissimilar fields. Lack of knowledge between each others’ academic branches and hardship in communication may bring about discord. Thus, efforts to understand and study each others’ academic knowledge through cooperation is the key to successful results,” said Bae. A scientific integration approach has been the key to successful research on the CRISPR Cas-9 system. Bae's ultimate goal is to apply this original research of CRISPR Cas-9 system to different fields through joint research. To the question of how he will encourage and foster junior scholars at Hanyang University, he answered with ‘confidence.’ “I have studied and researched at various universities with different experts, and I have realized that students of Hanyang University are equally capable to these scientists. With confidence and courage to carry on their majors with tenacity, students of Hanyang University can demonstrate their capabilities to the fullest,” said Bae. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2016-10 03 Headline News

[Academics]How Students Engage in Class

Professor Jang Hyung-shim of the Department of Education recently published a paper titled “Why students become more engaged or more disengaged during the semester: A self-determination theory dual process model.” She was consequently nominated as Researcher of the Month at HYU. Professor Jang's achievement lies in understanding the motivational processes of student learning and how it is affected by social contexts. More specifically, the research focuses on the relationship between instructors’ motivation styles and students’ functioning abilities in the classroom. Jang, an experienced expert in the specific field of study, spoke about the cause-and-effect relationship between the two subjects. Instructors, specifically school teachers, play a crucial role in student behavior and participation in academics. There is a common understanding, based on past studies, that if the instructor is more authoritative, teaching based on strict rules and procedures, student involvement in class decreases. In contrast, if the instructor provides more autonomous support in education, then students tend to be more engaged in class. The autonomous teaching method emphasizes freedom in a classroom, allowing creativity and critical thinking to flourish. Thus, in this specific study, Jang proposed a new perspective, a dual process model, in the existing self-determination theory. Guiding Jang’s research as a theoretical base, self-determination theory explains how students learning through self-motivated or autonomous learning increases their engagement in class. “The special finding in this research is in the dual process model. We have found out that for an individual student and an instructor, there are two ways in which they are affected by each other,” explained Jang. “For example, students’ engagement in learning can be explained by their experience of week-to-week gains in their need satisfaction guided by the instructor.” In short, the need satisfaction concerning a single student is achieved through autonomous support of instructors. Need frustration or disengagement, on the other hand, is the result of an authoritative instructor. Thus, the dual process within an individual student is shown, totally influenced by social context, which is the relationship with the instructor. Jang is an expert in education who has published numerous papers on improving the education system. Moreover, the findings confirm the existence of reciprocal causality in the classroom. “The reciprocal relation between authoritative teaching and student disengagement is quite strong, as controlling teachers lead to disengaged students and disengaged students lead to controlling teachers,” said Jang. “The reciprocal relation between autonomy-supportive teaching and student engagement is there, but is less strong.” This interesting relationship between students and teachers demonstrates the intertwined roles that influence each other either positively or negatively. “The research was completed using a three-wave longitudinal research with 366 high school students in Seoul participating. A questionnaire was given to each them three times at different points throughout the semester,” said Jang. The questions included a statement of consent, measures to assess the need satisfaction and need frustration, as well as autonomy support and teacher control. After the second stage of data analysis, the results showed the current finding based on the information collected. Jang believes that the results of this study has a lot to offer to both the students and teachers. “The teachers must improve styles of motivation based on two distinct skills. One of them is to have more supportive autonomy and the other is to be less controlling. Also, students must realize that classroom disengagement affects teachers’ motivating style toward them, and this is a rather strong effect,” said Jang. “So if your teacher is oppressive toward you, one reason may be because you are manifesting strong disengagement.” Thanks to the effort of researchers like Jang, necessary improvements continue to proceed in the Korean education system. In that sense, Hanyang University also stands as a leading global institution that is open to change and reform. This study will guide the Korean educational system towards a new transformation. Park Min-young manutdmin@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju