AsianScientist (Aug. 4, 2017) – Professor Cha Hyung Joon, a researcher at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), received the Inventor of the Year Award from the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) at the 52nd Anniversary Ceremony for Korea’s Invention Day on 14 June 2017.
Cha, a professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, was awarded the honor in recognition of his contribution to developing innovative technologies to produce next-generation materials on a commercial scale. He is the first in the world to engineer a mussel protein-based bioadhesive inspired by how mussels attach themselves to underwater surfaces.
Traditionally, during surgery, mechanical fasteners like sutures and staples have been used to hold body tissues together. The invasive nature of such methods, however, results in tissue damage, complicated post-treatment management, and scars. Moreover, their use is limited when handling delicate tissues and internal organs. Hence, tissue adhesives have been increasingly pursued as a more desirable bonding material, but the adhesives currently available in the market likewise have their own limitations.
While commonly-used medical adhesives such as cyanoacrylates are chemically derived and likely to provoke an adverse reaction, Cha’s bioadhesive has high compatibility with the human body and exhibits strong adhesive properties even under wet conditions. It is easily mass produced, thus opening the possibility of myriad medical applications including tissue engineering, bio-sensors, drug delivery, cosmetics, and veterinary uses.
Since he joined POSTECH in 1999, Cha has been listed as the inventor of 135 intellectual properties, including 23 international patents, 47 domestic patents, 34 international patent applications and 31 domestic patent applications.
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