BioMers Products, LLC has taken NUS' technology to new heights. Biomers is located in Naples, Florida with a manufacturing facility in Singapore. The company is engaged in developing novel polymer composite products for numerous biomedical applications. While orthodontics is the immediate application area, dentistry and orthopedics are also application targets for this innovative and patent pending technology.
The intellectual property underlying BioMers products are protected through patents and BioMers has worldwide exclusive licensing rights to the technology from the National University of Singapore. BioMers has a fifteen year worldwide exclusive for a critical component of the wires.
The company's first product is a patented translucent arch wire for the orthodontic treatment market. Aside from being nearly invisible, the arch wires have the necessary mechanical properties to straighten teeth as effectively as other orthodontic treatment alternatives. This has been a product the market has sought since the introduction of the first translucent brackets 20 years ago. No company has even been able to develop a workable translucent arch wire. The product was launched in May of 2008.
In addition, the company has developed and launched a translucent retainer wire. The BioMers ASTICSTM retainer wire may replace all of the metal wires currently used with the Hawley retainers, which represent 65% of the U.S. retainer market. There is not a translucent retainer wire in the orthodontic market today.
Clinical trials were conducted at the University of Washington, Department of Orthodontics and Jacksonville University, School of Orthodontics. These were the two largest clinical trials ever done for arch wires. The results were excellent and proved the endpoints of the clinical trials.
The company has received a FDA 510(k) approval for the arch wire and has registered the retainer wire with the FDA. Both company facilities are FDA approved. The company has received an ISO 13485 approval, Medical Device License in Canada and the CE Mark is expected in the fourth quarter of 2008.
NUS' technology startup KooBits has come up tops in the e-Education category at the Infocomm Singapore Awards 2008.
KooBits is an innovative authoring platform developed by Personal e-Motion Pte Ltd. The company provides the tools for students and teachers to easily create interactive animated e-books and other multimedia content. "KooBits specialises in interactive digital media," said Mr Eugene Jiang, Product Manager of KooBits.
"KooBits provides software for children to use to create e-books, to enable them to put different kinds of multimedia like flash, images, sound and animation to write stories. It enables them to use their creativity to do whatever they want," he added.
KooBits is well connected to NUS. Founder Prof Sam Ge is Director, Social Robotics Lab, Interactive Digital Media Institute (IDMI) of NUS. Mr Stanley Han, an alumnus of NUS who graduated in 2005, is KooBits' General Manager and co-founder of Personal e-Motion Pte Ltd.
KooBits won the Infocomm Singapore Awards for its innovation and ingenuity. The awards are organised by the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation and the Infocomm Singapore, and supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the International Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Management.
"We are extremely pleased and honored to be the recipient of this year's Infocomm Singapore Awards and we will continue the effort of developing breakthrough innovation in the area of e-education and interactive digital media, and making KooBits a global brand exported from Singapore," said Mr Han.
"We would like to thank the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation for the accreditation, NUS and NUS Enterprise for their strong support in our technology venture, and the Media Development Authority of Singapore and Interactive Digital Media R&D Program Office for their extensive support which was pivotal in bringing to reality many cutting edge projects."
SCTF, an efficient air-conditioning system with zonal ventilation control for improved indoor air quality, led to a NUS spin-off company, Enhanced Air Quality Pte. Ltd. founded by Assoc. Prof Chandra Sekhar, Assoc. Prof Tham Kwok Wai and Assoc. Prof David Cheong from the School of Design and Building.
In this new millenium, more than 80% of our time are spent in air-conditioned buildings for work and leisure. Increasingly, this has led to high expectations of the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of our environment as it has an impact on our health and productivity. However, escalating energy costs related to air-conditioning, especially the outdoor air that is necessary for ventilation purposes, could lead to inappropriate energy conservation strategies that may result in deterioration of the quality of the built environemnt - a phenomenon commonly known as the Sick Building Syndrome. In the tropics, the high temperature and high humidity of the outdoor air tends to aggravate the problem.
The patented Single Coil Twin Fan (SCTF) system is an innovative air-conditioning and air distribution system that improves occupants' thermal comfort and indoor air quality in tropical buildings whilst significantly saving energy. The SCTF system involves a new method of conditioning and distributing air through the multiple zones of an air-conditioned building such that adequate ventilation, and consequently, acceptable IAQ is ensured throughout the operating range of a Variable Air Volume (VAV) air-conditioning system. It is also aimed at providing the necessary ventilation while optimising energy consumption level of the VAV system. It involves the cooling and dehumidification of the outdoor and the recirculated air streams separately through separate compartments of a single cooling coil without mixing them during their flow through the coil and the new method of distribution involves transmitting the two air streams separately until they reach a modified VAV box in the occupied zone. The SCTF system provides "demand ventilation" and "demand cooling" by dynamically responding to the varying needs in the occupied zones of a building.
Potential applications of the SCTF technology include buildings with considerable load diversities, such as commercial and office buildings as well as those with simultaneous and distinct "process" and "human" needs (eg laboratories, air-conditioned workshops etc). It is also ideally suited for retrofit applications.
The SCTF system was installed in an office with floor area of about 2500 m2 in the a new NUS building in early 2005 and it has been in operation since June 2005. The SCTF system is able to provide adequate ventilation in a typical large office premises, based on "demand ventilation" and "demand cooling" in the individual occupied zones and has good dynamic performance. The thermal comfort parameters also indicate superior performance of the SCTF system, particularly in terms of the indoor RH levels, which is attributable to the enhanced dehumidifying performance of the compartmented cooling coil.
The SCTF system has been chosen as the base air-conditioning system for a net Zero Energy Building to be built in Singapore. This is a retrofit project of an existing building of the BCA Academy and is expected to be commissioned towards the end of 2009. A combination of SCTF Air Handling Units and SCTF Fan Coil Units has been designed for this project and the primary focus has been the desired outcome of "superior" indoor environmental conditions and "energy efficiency".
Bioresorbable polymer scaffolds provide the necessary support for cells to attach, grow and differentiate. They also help define the overall shape of the tissue engineered implant for the repair of defects caused by trauma or diseases. This revolutionary approach to regenerative medicine is the basis of tissue engineering, which aims to restore form and function to patients, facilitating faster recovery without triggering a host of immune responses.
One of the challenges for bone tissue engineering is to provide biomechanical stress stimulation and to sustain the high numbers of live cells in tissue scaffolds and properly pre-differentiate them before implantation into patients. In conventional cell culture conditions, the diffusion limits and the absence of adequate blood supply network restrict the growth of viable tissue thickness. This is particularly so at the centre of large scaffolds, where there is a high demand for nutrients and mass transfer.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore, the National University Hospital and the Singapore Polytechnic started working on a biaxial rotating bioreactor to meet this challenge. The goal was to design a controlled environment that will provide an effective means of transporting nutrients, gases to the growing cells and at the same time trigger cellular mechanotransduction signalling pathways, to stimulate bone tissue remodeling throughout the 3D scaffold.
Results from a recent prototype showed that bone cells grew much faster and they populate the depth of the 3D scaffold within a relatively short culture period, compared to traditional methods. The biaxial bioreactor also provides a means for uniform cell seeding throughout the 3D scaffolds; a feature to ensure that the cell type is maintained on implantation in vivo.
The potential for clinical applications using this approach of rapidly increasing viable cell density within a large scaffold is tremendous. Research is now progressing towards commercial bioresorbable scaffolds manufactured by Osteopore International for bone implants. These FDA approved scaffolds have already been successfully used on patients for the treatment of head injuries, dental reconstructions, orbital socket restorations and manyothers repairs.