The World's First 'Bloodless needle' by Alumnus Shin Mi-kyung
Media interview… “I want to develop natural materials that doctors can use right away in the field.”
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Alumnus Shin Mi-kyung (Divison of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering,'07), who won the 2020 L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science for developing the world’s first 'bloodless needle,' was cheered on by her female juniors through a media interview.
Shin developed the world’s first bloodless needle by using coating technology with mussel mimicry adhesive hemostatic polymers. Anyone who gets an injection will bleed, but it can be dangerous for patients with hemophilia or diabetes, and children whose bodies perform hemostasis poorly. If they use this needle, their bodies will be able to stop the bleeding effectively.
While taking a Ph.D. course at KAIST, Shin thought of a substance that would stay on the needle when getting an injection but help to block the skin injury when taking out the needle. She coated the needle point with keto aid, which contains catecholamine in mussels, a bioadhesive agent. After repeated daily experiments, in 2016, she completed the world’s first bloodless needle by finding the optimal time for the polymer to properly coagulate and coat the needle. Subsequent research is currently underway for commercialization.
Shin is a rising scholar in the medical materials field. In February, she won the 22nd L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (International Rising Talent). It is an award given to 15 rising female scientists who have made outstanding research achievements or engaged in high-publicity activities. In 2018, she won the 17th Korean L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Sciences fellowship, which is a domestic award given by L’Oreal Korea and the UNESCO Korean Committee.
Shin is paying attention to medical innovations using natural resources. She said that she wants to develop effective materials that can be used right away by doctors working in the field. She is currently striving to develop various adhesive biomaterials using plants. Tannin, an ingredient that produces bitter tastes in fruit peels and seeds, is one of them.
In an interview with the Dong-a Daily, Shin recalled the fact that a female student from another major came to her and said that she realized that a woman can become a professor in the engineering department and thus had hope for herself. Shin said , "There aren’t many female experts in the science and engineering field yet," but that “I hope this will be a great motivational opportunity for my juniors at Hanyang."
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