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2018-09 07

[Academics]Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering), developed survivability signal information technology

The death rate of firefighters was 38 per 100,000 people in 2017, which was 4.8 times that of the U.S. In the last five years, 438 police officers have died while on duty. As such, a group of job security workers have been exposed to numerous dangers. Those who need to be protected, such as emergency patients or the elderly living alone, are also vulnerable. Kim Tae-won, a professor in the Division of Mechanical Engineering, is studying ways to increase their survivability rate. It was selected by the Convergence Research Center (CRC) of the Ministry of Science and ICT's leading research center, developing 'Survivability Signal Information Technology'. Survivability Signal Information Survivability analysis techniques are based on changes in the state of the body and things caused by an accident. This technique can help save a person from an emergency. Bio-signals tell if a person lying on the road is asleep or physically dangerous. In the case of emergency patients, survivability indicators and information, such as viability, are derived through biological signals. The selected information is sent to the appropriate medical staff during transport to the emergency center. This information allows medical staff to prepare for emergency measures, including surgery. As the bio-signals enable quick judgment and response, the survivability rate of patients can be increased. Kim’s source technology based on survivability signal information is at the world’s highest level, which is expected to produce new concepts of invention. In recognition of the creativity and spirit of the research subjects, the research is being conducted through the support of the Korea Research Foundation, selected as a CRC (fusion field). It formed a business group with a joint research institute, including 10 core researchers, and students with master's and doctorate degrees. The total study period is seven years and consists of two stages. ▲ Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering) explained that the study of survivability signal information involves experts from various fields such as social studies and psychology as well as mechanical engineering. For the past nine years, Kim studied basic technologies such as analysis and model development related to survivability skills at the Defense Specialized University Research Center. Now, beyond the survival of soldiers, his research has extended its coverage to civilian safety. In addition to the already proven track record, they have teamed up with experts in engineering, medicine, medical engineering, and social psychology to add further technologies. It integrates physical signals, body signals, and psychological analysis to enable more accurate index settings. "Reinterpreting physical signals and vital signs into psychological data to obtain the substantial information necessary for survivability." As the scope of application has expanded, it is to prepare for a number of risk factors. First, experts from various fields classified the 'work environment information', 'risk factors' and 'risk levels' to apply survivability information technology. In addition, it will conduct verification and empirical research development technologies through collaborating with relevant institutions, such as hospitals, fire and police departments. It is going to analyze physical and psychological risk factors and protection factors of each occupational group responsible for social safety, which will be linked to biometric recognition systems. The technology also identifies the relationship between vital signs, body and psychological data. This will help develop risk prevention programs and post-treatment programs for each occupational group. ▲ Along with the advancement of survivability signal information platform technology based on biometric measurements and analysis, psychosocial link survivability enhancement programs are also being developed. For more, more precious lives The empirical goal of the research is to build signal information measurement sensors, antennas, and communication systems into wearable forms and attach them to the human body. Through an invention with wearable sensors, it is planning to use it widely, from social safety to life safety. Based on IoT, it can be utilized in all fields such as Smart Home, Smart Car, Distribution Industry, Wearable Mobile, Health Care, and others. In order to effectively apply the survivability signal information technology, legal and institutional issues such as privacy and personal information laws should be solved together. "The technology to be developed through this research will contribute, not only to social safety workers, but also the physical and mental safety and health of the general public, including emergency patients,” said Kim. ▲ Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering) poses with students who have conducted the research together.

2018-09 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Internal Level Interaction Between the Cell and Sensory Organs

The minute you leave out a banana on your desk, fruit flies start to appear out of nowhere. Even when you think you have taken good care of the peel, the little creatures never fail to sniff out its location. While one may think they are simply annoying pests, professor Shim Ji-won (Department of Life Science) uses them as her main test subject for her studies. Shim Ji-won (Department of Life Science) explains that her experiment will surely help future clinical and applied research, August 31st, 2018. Shim recently published her study under the title of “Systemic Control of Immune Cell Development by Integrated Carbon Dioxide and Hypoxia Chemosensation in Drosophila.” Although the title itself may sound complicated, it is based on quite an interesting theory that the hypoxia-sensing neurons (hypoxia: oxygen deficiency in a biotic environment) that detect the level of CO2 and oxygen have a direct influence on the number of expanding blood cells. Shim’s findings indicate the link between environmental gas sensation and myeloid (relating to bone marrow / spinal cord) cell development in Drosophila, which in other words are--fruit flies. According to Shim, a similar relationship exists in humans, but the underlying mechanisms have yet to be established as the human anatomy is way too complex to see the direct interaction between the nerve and the immune system. Before divng into the details of the research, a bit of human anatomy is in order. Blood cells are created in the spinal cord and bone marrow, which also decide each cell’s function after receiving various signals from the brain through the nerve system. Functional cells are created according to the body’s state, fulfilling whatever is needed. This includes immune cells, which are created in response to something in the body that is not balanced or is under stress due to internal or external factors. Within the sensory organs, there also exists various receptors (organs or cells which are able to respond to light, heat, or other external stimuli and transmit a signal to a sensory nerve) that can each sense different things. Each of them would send signals to our nerve system which would then send signals to our spinal cord that creates the functional cells. The bottle where the fruit flies are kept. The bottom paste is the fruit flies' food consisting of sugar, corn, and flour. Regarding this matter, numerous studies on cell interaction with the external environment have already been conducted. The brain to blood cell interaction was an area that many researchers have researched, but there were not many done on the internal interactions such as from cell to cell interaction and its influence on the brain. In this sense, Shim’s study was revolutionary. Shim conducted her experiments by first creating mutated flies that did not have certain receptors. As a result, the ones without receptors that could sense CO2 showed drastic results. Because CO2 and oxygen are the two main conditions to human existence, the balance between the two is crucial. When the balance between the two levels breaks, as can be seen in the test results, it causes an internal change such as the increase in the number of cell expansion and immune reaction. This was quite revolutionary, as it meant that even without the brain’s direct order, the human body starts to create more functional blood cells as a response when the nerve system detects an imbalance in the CO2 and oxygen levels. Shim (in the center) and her students in the lab. “For humans, the nerve system is inside our body and is linked with so many different receptors, so it is too complex to research right away. However, for fruit flies, their nerve system also exists on the exterior, so that they are very much sensitive to external conditions. Also, it is easier to control it as I can simply get rid of a few receptors, and that could shut down one of their sensory organs. Now the interesting thing is, when we release high levels of CO2 near the fruit flies, they fly as far away as they can. Here I suspected that there must be a correlation between the sensory organs and the immune system which keeps the body in check, so I used fruit flies to test out this theory,” said Shim. Currently, various experiments are being carried out by Shim and her students relating to this study. The studies include a blood brain barrier interaction, a brain to blood interaction, a bi-directional interaction, and so on. Shim hopes that the studies conducted on the fruit flies will pave the road. “Our sensory organs and the nerve system greatly affect and are affected by the brain. For example, those with Alzheimer's cannot really smell things. This is because there is a neuro degeneration and incongruity in the immune system. We do not know how directly related the functions of the olfactory nerve and the brain are associated, but that is another research study to be done in the future after the fruit flies experiment,” said Shim. Park Joo-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-09 01

[Special][Saranghandae] Special Summer Memories

▲ HISS students celebrated their successful summer vacation through the graduation ceremony The 2018 Hanyang International Summer School (HISS) reached its successful conclusion on the 27th of July with the graduation ceremony held in the Hanyang Olympic Gymnasium. A little over 2,000 students from 49 different countries participated in this year’s HISS, the largest ever, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from students and faculty alike. Earning credits and experiencing a range of activities in HISS’ edutainment-based program, this year’s participants expressed their overall satisfaction with many stating their desire to return. Another year of HISS After four weeks of attending intensive, 3-hours per day, 4-days a week classes and joining in a variety of offered activities, the graduation ceremony was held to celebrate not only the end of the program but also to celebrate the participants’ accomplishment of successfully completing the fast-paced, highly focused curriculum. Since the start of HISS in 1990, when HISS was originally a program for overseas, ethnic Koreans designed to introduce them to Korean language and culture, HISS has been working tirelessly to improve in both quality and quantity. As a result, HISS is now recognized as the largest summer school program in Korea. HISS still maintains its original goal of introducing Korea but is now far more inclusive and extensive, offering various activities such as the Han River Cruise Party, Boryeong Mud Festival, and a visit to SM TOWN for K-pop fans. In comparison to last year, 143 additional students from 10 different countries participated as HISS students this summer. Not only did HISS offer students opportunities to partake in fun-filled events, but additionally, 126 more classes were offered in the 9 fields of Art & Design, Communication & Media, Business & Economics, Humanities, International Studies, Korean Studies & Language, Science & Math, Social Studies, and Engineering. Wrapping up four weeks Before the ceremony, students in graduation caps and gowns were busy mingling with friends and taking photos of their last moments at HISS. A mixture of relief, sadness, excitement, and enthusiasm could be seen on their faces as many took turns snapping photos in front of the designated photo wall. Even though the program lasted four weeks, the atmosphere of the ceremony did not seem different from any other graduations. As the clock reached 2:00 pm, the students found their seats, filling up the floor of the Olympic Gymnasium. The ceremony began with a congratulatory farewell speech from the Hanyang University President, Lee Young-moo and Michael Collins, a guest professor from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. Both congratulated all students for their hard work during the past four weeks and wished all students well as they returned to their home countries. Testimonials by a participating student and two international interns followed. Victoria Morrison from Wilkes University gave the first speech as the student representative. She energetically shared her own experience at HISS, describing herself as a normal university student and avid fan of K-pop and who loves to play and learn new things. Next, Beatriz Guintu from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Sylvester Sia from the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), gave their speeches. They were the first international interns at HISS, working for the Office of International Affairs. As students who were able to experience something a bit more unique, they gave testimonials of what they had experienced as international students and interns at HISS. ▲ 1) Students are congratulating each other after completing their 4-week course ▲ 2) HISS students are performing a fan dance on stage ▲ 3) Graduates are taking commemorative photos against a photo wall ▲ 4) A student is receiving a certificate from his professor ▲ HISS students experienced Korean culture through various activities Goodbye for now As part of the ceremony, two students from Hanyang’s Department of Applied Music performed three dance routines from popular K-pop songs: ‘Latata’ by (G)I-DLE, ‘Playing with Fire’ by BlankPink and ‘Fake Love’ by BTS. Many of the students appeared to be familiar with these K-pop hits, and even though there may have been those who were unaware of them, the entire venue seemed filled with excitement. Many of the students could be seen singing along to the songs, brightening up the atmosphere. After the performance, some HISS students performed their own practiced routines including a traditional fan dance. Among the 126 offered classes, there was a traditional performance class in which students who signed up were able to learn the fan dance. These students practiced hard everyday for their final performance, and despite a lack of time, they performed exceptionally well to an appreciative audience. After the ceremony had ended, a lot of students remained at the stadium taking pictures to savor the moment. At HISS, new friendships were forged regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or nationality. Four weeks had come and passed, and all the organized get-togethers had finished. The relationships and memories, however, will continue. A direct experience of Korea At the 2018 International Summer School, students were able to combine their studies with entertainment aspects of Korea. These included the following: ▲ 6) Students are enjoying their time at the Han River Boat Cruise ▲ 7) Students are taking a commemorative photo at the Boryeong Mud Festival SM Town & Nanta show On July 7th, students were able to choose between a trip to SM Town or watching the Nanta show. Those who were interested in K-pop were able to take a look at some of the work behind one of Asia’s biggest entertainment companies. That day, 319 students visited and had a chance to watch an SM-Town hologram musical and visit the gallery there. The other 393 students visited the Nanta show, a kitchen-themed percussion performance. The powerful beats and the creatively improvised instruments were a delight to the audiences’ eyes and ears. Han River Boat Cruise On July 10th and 11th, a total of 1,000 students attended the Han River Boat Cruise. Starting from Jamsil Pier, the students were able to enjoy the night view of part of the central areas of Seoul along the Han River. Various snacks, activities such as face-painting, henna tattooing, and games were provided, enabling students to get better acquainted with each other in a fun atmosphere. Boryeong Mud Festival On July 13th and 14th, a total of 757 students attended the biggest mud festival in Korea. Known for its healthy soil deposits, Boryeong boasts the annual festival in which participants can get down and dirty, competing in mud wrestling contests, enjoying mudslides, and just frolicking in the soothing mud. ▲ 8) Students went on a picnic to Caribbean Bay to splash around in the pool against the scorching heat. ▲ 9) The memories of new friends in a new country will last forever. Sylvester Sia from SIM “I started working as an intern from the first week of May. I really wanted to work as an international intern, and very thankfully I found a place at HYU. I was engaged in doing work similar to what the regular interns do. Beatriz and I were assigned to make a comprehensive guidebook of Korea from our view as international students so that other international students could better understand Korea and Korean culture. All my colleagues were extremely friendly, and I learned a lot from them, watching them all working very hard. I am currently planning to build a startup company, and now, since HISS has finished, I will go back to my original life and work hard to achieve my dream. I wasn’t able to speak Korean at first, but now I can have little chats in Korean. Thank you for everyone who has helped me!” Beatriz Guintu from the New Jersey Institute of Technology “I started working from the 28th of May. My sister already had experience joining HISS last year, and I was therefore extremely interested in working with the HISS staff, as someone who wanted to help. In America, you can’t imagine really developing any friendships with your superiors. However, while I worked here, I had frequent outings and enjoyed the time with colleagues and superiors as family and friends. I was therefore able to enjoy the work I did much more than I expected. I was also able to make a lot of friends from all around the world and have a wider view of the world. I am now going back to my home country to apply for graduate school. I will miss my life and experiences in Korea. I am grateful to all the staff for their hospitality, and the memories I shared.” By On Jung-yun (Student Reporter)

2018-08 24

[Infographics]2 Hanyang graduates became prosecutor through the Korean bar examination

On August 1, among the 21 newly hired law school graduates who passed the fourth bar exam, two graduates are from Hanyang University (9.5 percent), ranked to be the sixth highest among major universities in Korea. According to the analysis of newly hired prosecutor's affiliated college (who passed the 4th bar exam), 5 of them(23.8%) graduated from Korea University, 3 from Seoul National ·Sungkyunkwan·Yonsei University and Postech respectively, and 2 graduated from Hanyang University(9.5%). When it comes to its status by age, 9 of them are 31 years old (42.9 %), 4 are 32 years old(19%), 4 are 28 years old(19%), 3 are 29 years old(14.3%) and one 1 is 33 years old(4.8%). ▶ Link for the article of the law journal (only in Korean)

2018-08 07

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Developing Revolutionary Energy Harvesters

As it is a global agenda to adopt a lifestyle that is more environmentally friendly, developing technology that allows eco-friendly processes and production outcomes has also shifted into focus. Professor Sung Tae-hyun's (Electrical Engineering) research on energy harvesting technology is a prime example that shines a ray of hope onto our path of sustainable development. According to research from Cambridge University, only 12 percent of electric power generated from a power plant is used, while the other 88 percent goes to waste. Consequently, "energy harvesing," the idea of saving and using the wasted energy, has become a crucial research topic for more effective and efficient use of energy generated. It would eiminate concerns about creating a completely different type of power plant or unintentionally harming the environment. "Energy harvesting technology will allow us to convert various types of wasted energy into usable energy,” said Sung. Sung Tae-hyun (Electrical Engineering) explains the different types of energy and how massive an amount of it is wasted. There are different types of convertible energies such as piezoelectric energy (electric energy created from vibration), heat energy (electric energy created from heat), and photovoltaic energy (electric energy created from lighting). Sung focused on piezoelectric and photovoltaic energy when researching energy harvesting technology. The purpose of his research was to successfully create an "energy harvestor" with a sensor that detects the different types of energy, then converts them accordingly to electric energy that is entirely usable and more environmentally friendly. “Sensor technology is actually the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution since everything is connected through internet of things (IoT). It can detect anything anywhere without limitations, and that’s what would make the energy conversion process more efficient, especially in places where all types of energy are generated.” Energy harvestors demonstrated in a smart factory (Photo courtesy of Sung) Sung is in charge of Hanyang University's (HYU's) SEED laboratory that researches energy harvesting technology. In 2011, it even broke a record for retaining the world’s best piezoelectric energy harvesting data. According to Sung, he approached the energy waste problem by first communicating with the workers in the field, detecting and redefining the problem at hand, moving on to the ideation process, creating prototypes, and then testing it out to see if it was realistically applicable and effective. Sung is now in the process of testing out the developed energy harvestors in four big industries such as LED production, smart factories (industry where the whole production process is combined with digital automation solutions), and industries where both offices and production scenes are located in the same building and power plants. “Currently, we are working on the development and commercialization of applicable IoT sensors applied to energy harvestors, but we hope to create harvestors with massive energy conversion capacity in the future. Not letting any energy go to waste is the main goal,” said Sung. Sung explains the application process of energy havestors in various industries. Behind Sung’s passionate research, there was a strong drive that was truly inspirational. “Our lab is called the SEED lab, like the seed in an apple. You may know how many seeds are generally in an apple, but you never know how many of them will actually become an apple. It is the work of a miracle, and that is the kind of miracle that our lab members wish to achieve together. I ask myself, what kind of fruit am I expecting in 10 or 20 years when I’m planting this seed? In other words, what is my goal in life that takes the form of the fruit? There are so many people that eat the seed before it grows just to fulfill their self-interest. I’d say that those people are myopic, as they may be full and satisfied for the moment, but they will not be in the future. It sure takes a long time to grow and harvest the seed, but once it grows and starts to bear fruit, a never-ending cycle begins. One seed will bear hundreds of fruits ever year. So the next question is, how will you use these fruits? For me, that’s the question of what I want to achieve in my life, and my life goal is to give back the fruits I’ve harvested to the society, and spread the happiness.” Sung talks about his beliefs and philosophy, ending with some inspirational advice for Hanyang students. “I hope that I can share this belief with the Hanyang community. I hope that we can work together to grow the seeds of Hanyang into a strong tree that will bear many fruits, and spread the miracle to the world. That being said, I would like to tell the students not to be afraid of failure, to have a life-goal that can change the world, not to be devastated from failure, to always be positive but not conceited nor arrogant, and to love challenges. Our body is systematically goal-oriented, and once we have a goal, it becomes our drive to keep going even when we are tired. On top of that, if you think that our purpose in life is for the happiness of our community, then you will become a true global leader.” Park Joo-hyun Photos by Choi Min-ju

2018-07 30

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Observation of Unique Properties of Anti-PT-Symmetric Systems

Professor Song Seok-ho (Department of Physics) has recently announced his research on the observation of an Anti-Parity-Time (APT)-Symmetric exceptional point and energy-difference conserving dynamics in electric circuit resonators. When dividing an electric circuit in half, the two parts show a symmetric stream in both time and space. This is referred to as Parity-Time (PT) Symmetry, which enables electricity to flow in the same stream in both directions inside an electric circuit. By "breaking" the unidirectional converter, the symmetric stream of the forward and backward propagation differs, and the PT-Symmetric form is broken. This picture shows the breaking of the Parity-Time (PT) - symmetric form and how the flow of light changes. By breaking the symmetric middle part, the forms of foward and backward propagation differ, which allows for the creation of diodes. (Photo courtesy of Song) Breaking the PT-Symmetric form allows for the creation of diodes which are semiconductor devices that allow electricity to flow only in one direction and prevent any form of backward propagation. Being a key element of the flow of electricity within an electric circuit, the creation of photodiodes has been a long-term goal in the field of nanophotonics. Based upon the idea of substituting electricity with light, which would allow electric devices to be used with higher speed and energy efficiency, nanophotonics have long been troubled with a loss of energy due to the absence of diodes which allow the efficient flow of energy. Thus, Song’s current research of creating diodes through the "breaking" of PT Symmetries has significance, as it may provide a foothold for the creation of photodiodes. Song has verified his research by successfully breaking symmetries within electric circuits formed with resistance-electric condensers. The experimental process was made as simple as possible based upon the professor’s belief that easy verification leads to easy commercialization. “It is the process of thinking out ideas that should be given effort, whereas the experimental process should be done with ease,” explained Song. This can be seen in the fact that only simple devices with educational purposes were used in the verification of this research. Professor Song Seok-ho shared his research philosophy of the making process which should receive the bulk of time and effort. On the other hand, he mentioned that the experimental process should be conducted as simply as possible, as simple verification leads to simple commercialization. When asked of his future plans, Song explained how he has managed to break through one mere field of nanophotonics. He also maintained that “there are so many fields to overcome. By applying concepts to each field, breaking through the current limitations of physics is my next goal.” Succeeding with the observation of anti-PT-symmetries, it does not seem like it will be long before Song provides another foothold towards a novel breakthrough in the field of nanophotonics. Choi Seo-yong Photos by Choi Min-ju

2018-07 05

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Laying the Stepping Stones for Future Software Technology

From chemistry to physics, scientific fields take great strides every day. This is even more the case for computer science, with the world having embarked on the 4th industrial revolution - a revolution created through an extensive integration of information technology. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have already been brought to reality to a certain extent. In light of these advances, the improvements in software technology by Professor Won You-jip (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) have received grand recognitions for tearing down the barriers to continuous development. The interview with Won You-jip (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) was held in his office on July 4th, 2018. A rough explanation of Won's research would be as follows: if we modify a standard computer, expanding its memory capacity by 100 times, and increasing the number of Central Processing Units (CPU) to 100, the seemingly improved computer would not be 100 times faster than before. In fact, it would be even slower than the standard version. The essential problem lies in the software; the algorithm for the new computer would have to be redesigned to manage the expanded resources in the most efficient manner. “It would be like driving a supercar on an unpaved road,” explained Won, providing a metaphor to emphasize the pointlessness of developing hardware without the sufficient software to manage it. However, the reality is that the speed of software development has remained rather stagnant compared to the restless development of hardware technology. On this point, Won’s research has received a passionate welcome by the international community for paving new roads for the future of software technology. Althernative designs for CPU management and Input/Output management as proposed by Won's research (Photo courtesy of Won Youjip) In a nutshell, Won provided key technologies for operating systems to support scalability, that is, the ability to add more CPUs, and for them to quickly make full use of the software. To elaborate, he categorized the roles of operating systems into CPU management, huge memory management, and file input/output management, and developed essential technologies for each domain after an analysis of the latest trends and prospective future of their hardware. Won essentially solidified the possibility of scalability, maximized the used of large-scale memory space, and improved the I/O management to prevent operation delays. Won’s research was greatly facilitated with the help of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), who granted access to their super computer for research and experiments. With their assistance and his dedication, Won has been recognized as the forerunner in his field, having won two Best Paper Awards from conferences held by USENIX, also known as The Advanced Computing Systems Association. Won was awarded two among the three Best Paper Awards ever given to recipients in Korea. No other countries in Asia have ever won the award. USENIX conferences are the most respected and historical in the field, with the programming language JAVA having been introduced in one of their past conferences. Won considered being awardedthe award for best paper at USENIX to be an extreme honor. Once Won introduces the final version of his work, it is expected to allow software to be designed for manycore (computers with many cores) hardware to be built in 50 to 60 years-time. It will support super computers, allowing AI calculations and machine deep learning. Furthermore, it will be applied to servers to maximize the use of their resources, contributing significantly to their efficiency. Won’s findings not only enable future technology, but make it economic and efficient. Won is also a dedicated instructor. When asked of his greatest aspiration, Won answered that his wish is for his students to become the best developers of Silicon Valley. He interacts with his students on a frequent basis, well above the domains of lab work. A piece of advice that he had for his students was to become the best. “Rise above your failures, keep your head up, and become the best in your field,” commented Won. He believes that regardless of the skill or profession, if there is something you want to do, you should "Start digging and get to the bottom of it.” Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-06 26

[Special][Card News] [Excellent R&D] Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Multi Layers

▲ Click to read the English article - [Excellent R&D] Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Multi Layers

2018-06 25 Headline News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Finding a Cure Through Direct Intranasal Delivery

Flaviviruses like the West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis (JEV), and Zika are neurotropic, causing neurological complications or death to those with low immune systems. There is now a cure in development called the siRNA approach which has demonstrated promising results in treating viral infections in animal models. However, several complications exist when it comes to treating humans. Lee Sang-kyung (Department of Bioengineering), along with his fellow researchers, has come up with a solution in his paper "Small Interfering RNA-Mediated Control of Virus Replication in the CNS is Therapeutic and Enables Natural Immunity to West Nile Virus." Lee Sang-kyung (Department of Bioengineering) explains the direct intranasal delivery process on June 22nd. The small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a therapeutic strategy targeting illnesses such as cancer, inflammation, and genetic disorders. This strategy was proven to be successful in treating various viral infections including encephalitis-induced morbidity and mortality, in animal subjects. However, there have been several complications regarding its application to human brains. One of the challenges was due to human anatomy being quite different from that of animal test subjects like mice. After the long research process, it was clear that direct delivery of siRNA to the brain was the best method of treatment. However, not only was finding the right treatment of viral encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) challenging, but the direct delivery of siRNA effectively across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was a huge block as well. The blood-brain barrier is a filtering mechanism of the capillaries that carries blood to the brain and spinal cord tissue, blocking the passage of certain substances. This basically means that intruding substances are blocked so nothing goes in, and nothing goes out. This makes it harder for the research to continue. The intranasal delivery device that allows mice to be seated in a natural "Mecca" position. (Photo courtesy of Lee) To overcome this problem, Lee and his fellow researchers came up with the intranasal delivery method that allows a substance's direct delivery to the brain while circumventing the challenges associated with the blood-brain barrier. This method was based on the unique connection in human anatomy between the brain and the outer world through the olfactory nerve. Lee was able to invent an intranasal delivery device for WNV-infected mice at late stages of the neuroinvasive disease in hopes of demonstrating that the treatment would bring results in recovery. The mice seated on the platform were naturally placed into the "Mecca" position, which is the best angle for proper direct drug delivery. The siRNA delivered through this route revealed a remarkable therapeutic effect in reducing brain viral load, neuropathology, and mortality even when the treatment was initiated at late stages of WNV infection. Furthermore, the treatment allowed the natural protective immune responses to be triggered outside of the brain that would result in prevention after recovery. This discovery will allow active studies to be conducted in brain research and therapy in the future. Lee explaining the difference in human and animal nasal cavities in his lab, June 22nd. However, there are still more challenges to overcome. Animal subjects used in the experiments such as mice, have the anatomical difference of having a nasal cavity that is six times larger than that of a human being's. This means that the amount of the substance that can be absorbed through a human nasal epithelium (a type of animal tissue) is reduced. The "Mecca" position is a crucial discovery in the steps to overcoming such challenge, but further research is needed. Lee hopes that through the use of the intranasal drug delivery device, they will be able to discover the optimized method of delivery which will be suitable to human anatomy, thus preventing thousands from suffering and death. Lee's research and discovery can be read in detail in the Cell Host & Microbe scientific journal as well as on Signet Biotech's website ( Park Joo-hyun Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-06 18

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Multi Layers

Barrier films that have the ability to block moisture and aerial gas have long been a concern of the packaging industry, especially in the display business. The penetration of such substances leads to a degradation of display materials to protect, which is the main reason why barrier films are utilized. Song Tae-seob (Department of Energy Engineering) has provided a solution to this troublesome dilemma, by proposing the use of using organic-inorganic hybrid multi layers. The use of inorganic materials when making a barrier film is highly effective in blocking the penetration of other substances, but the heat treatment and the use of the equipment comes with a high price tag. On the other hand, organic materials have an easier production process, yet are relatively more vulnerable to penetration by moisture and air. Thus, Song has converged these two materials, which would result in a barrier film higher in both ability and cost efficiency. Song Tae-seob (Department of Energy Engineering) explained how converging organic and inorganic materials can result in the production of a barrier with higher abilities and improved cost efficiency. According to Song, there have been techniques to combine the two materials, but they have not yet been applied to the production of barrier films. Thus, the remaining task for Song was to focus upon making a convergence of the two materials and managing to evenly spread and disperse the inorganic material within the organic solution. "Inorganic materials have a tendency to crumple down within an organic solution. Therefore, finding a way to alleviate this mass and allow them to spread evenly within the solution is a key factor to our research," explained Song. Being a professor in the Department of Energy Engineering and primarily studying batteries, Song has had hardships in this relatively unfamiliar field of research. As it is applying an already existing technique, Song and his laboratory members have focused on developing their technologies while avoiding existing patents. Having the need to develop a product from a new perspective with a novel concept, while diverting from current technologies, Song had another barrier to overcome. However, once such hardships are overcome and the current research is fully conducted, the outcomes will be significant. By localizing the novel barrier film technique, the domestic industry will prosper economically. “The domestic display business will benefit from being supplied with products that are more efficient in both cost and capacity. Furthermore, the barriers can also be extended to various businesses such as solar cells, which have also been troubled with moisture and air penetration," commented Song. Song and his students showing their strong will to develop an organic-inorganic hybrid material barrier. From the left, Lee Kang-chun (Energy Engineering, PhD Degree), Song, Jo Seong-han, Kim Gae-un, and Park Sang-woo (Energy Engineering, Master's program). Choi Seo-yong Photos by Choi Min-ju