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The key to Alzheimer disease, PET-MRI made in Korea
Professor Kyu-Sung Cho - Simultaneous PET-MRI imaging system commercialization technology developed purely from domestic technology - - Inspiring achievement by KAIST, National NanoFab Center, Sogang University, Seoul National University Hospital – Hopes are high for the potential of producing domestic products in the field of state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment that used to rely on imported products. The joint research team (KAIST, Sogang University and Seoul National University) with KAIST Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering Professor Kyu-Sung Cho in charge, together with National Nanofab Institution (NNFC; Director Jae-Young Lee), has developed PET-MRI simultaneous imaging system with domestic technology only. The team successfully acquired brain images of 3 volunteers with the newly developed system. PET-MRI is integrated state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment that combines the advantages of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that shows anatomical images of the body and Position Emission Tomography (PET) that analyses cell activity and metabolism. Since the anatomical information and functional information can be seen simultaneously, the device can be used to diagnose early onset Alzheimer’s disease and is essential in biological science research, such as new medicine development. The existing equipment used to take MRI and PET images separately due to the strong magnetic field generated by MRI and combine the images. Hence, it was time consuming and error-prone due to patient’s movement. There was a need to develop PET that functions within a magnetic field to create a simultaneous imaging system. The newly developed integral PET-MRI has 3 technical characteristics: 1. PET detector without magnetic interference, 2. PET-MRI integration system, 3.PET-MRI imaging processing. The PET detector is the most important factor and accounts for half the cost of the whole system. KAIST Professor Cho and NNFC Doctor Woo-Suk Seol’s team successfully developed the Silicon Photomultiplier (amplifies light coming into the radiation detector) that can be used in strong magnetic fields. The developed sensor has a global competitive edge since it optimises semiconductor processing to yield over 95% productivity and around 10% gamma radiation energy resolving power. Sogang University Department and Electrical Engineering Professor Yong Choi developed cutting edge PET system using a new concept of electric charge signal transmission method and imaging location distinction circuit. The creativity and excellence of the research findings were recognised and hence published on the cover of Medical Physics in June. Seoul National University Hospital Department of Nuclear Medicine Professor Jae-Sung Lee developed the Silicon Photomultiplier sensor based PET imaging reconstitution programme, MRI imaging based PET imaging revision technology and PET-MRI imaging integration software. Furthermore, KAIST Department of Electrical Engineering Professor Hyun-Wook Park was responsible for the development of RF Shielding technology that enables simultaneous installation of PET and MRI and using this technology, he developed a head coil for the brain that can be connected to PET for installation. Based on the technology describe above, the joint research team successfully developed PET-MRI system for brains and acquired PET-MRI integrated brain images from 3 volunteers last June. In particular, this system has the distinct feature of a detachable PET module and MRI head coil to the existing whole body MRI, so that PET-MRI simultaneous imaging is possible with low installation cost. Professor Cho said, “We have prepared the foundation of domestic commercial PET and the system has a competitive edge in the global market of PET-MRI system technology.” He continued, “It can reduce the cost of the increasing brain related disease diagnosis, including Alzheimer’s, dramatically.” Funded by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy as an Industrial Foundation Technology Development Project (98 billion won in 7 years), the research applied for over 20 patents and 20 CSI theses. Figure 1.Brain phantom images from developed PET-MRI system Figure 2. Brain images from developed PET-MRI system Figure 3. Domestic PET-MRI clinical trial Figure 4. Head RF coil and PET detector inserted in MRI Figure 5. Insertion type PET detector module Figure 6. Silicon Photomultiplier sensor (Left) and flash crystal block (right) Figure7. Silicon Photomultiplier sensor Figure 8. PET detection principle
KAIST student wins Aerospace Student Papers Grand Prize
Dong-Il Yoo, a doctoral candidate under Professor Hyun-Chul Shim, at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, KAIST, has been awarded the Second Prize Award at the 11th Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Paper Contest. The award ceremony was held on October 30th at the media conference room at the KINTEX ADEX 2013 Exhibition in Seoul. Yoo"s paper, titled "A Study on Virtual Pursuit Point-based Autonomous Air Combat Guidance Law for UCAV," is highly regarded for originality and creativity. The Field Robotics Center at the KAIST Institute, where Yoo conducted his research, also received the first prize at the 7th KAI Paper Contest. The KAI Paper Contest was first organized in 2003 to promote academic interest and advance research and development in aerospace engineering among university students. The KAI Paper Contest is one of the most prestigious contests in Korea. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Korean Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences, the Korea Aerospace Industries Association, and the Korea Civil Aviation Development Association. Dong-Il Yoo (left) and Professor Hyun-Chul Shim (right)
KAIST announced a novel technology to produce gasoline by a metabolically engineered microorganism
A major scientific breakthrough in the development of renewable energy sources and other important chemicals; The research team succeeded in producing 580 mg of gasoline per liter of cultured broth by converting in vivo generated fatty acids For many decades, we have been relying on fossil resources to produce liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and many industrial and consumer chemicals for daily use. However, increasing strains on natural resources as well as environmental issues including global warming have triggered a strong interest in developing sustainable ways to obtain fuels and chemicals. Gasoline, the petroleum-derived product that is most widely used as a fuel for transportation, is a mixture of hydrocarbons, additives, and blending agents. The hydrocarbons, called alkanes, consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Gasoline has a combination of straight-chain and branched-chain alkanes (hydrocarbons) consisted of 4-12 carbon atoms linked by direct carbon-carbon bonds. Previously, through metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli (E. coli), there have been a few research results on the production of long-chain alkanes, which consist of 13-17 carbon atoms, suitable for replacing diesel. However, there has been no report on the microbial production of short-chain alkanes, a possible substitute for gasoline. In the paper (entitled "Microbial Production of Short-chain Alkanes") published online in Nature on September 29, a Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reported, for the first time, the development of a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through metabolic engineering of E. coli. The research team engineered the fatty acid metabolism to provide the fatty acid derivatives that are shorter than normal intracellular fatty acid metabolites, and introduced a novel synthetic pathway for the biosynthesis of short-chain alkanes. This allowed the development of platform E. coli strain capable of producing gasoline for the first time. Furthermore, this platform strain, if desired, can be modified to produce other products such as short-chain fatty esters and short-chain fatty alcohols. In this paper, the Korean researchers described detailed strategies for 1) screening of enzymes associated with the production of fatty acids, 2) engineering of enzymes and fatty acid biosynthetic pathways to concentrate carbon flux towards the short-chain fatty acid production, and 3) converting short-chain fatty acids to their corresponding alkanes (gasoline) by introducing a novel synthetic pathway and optimization of culture conditions. Furthermore, the research team showed the possibility of producing fatty esters and alcohols by introducing responsible enzymes into the same platform strain. Professor Sang Yup Lee said, "It is only the beginning of the work towards sustainable production of gasoline. The titer is rather low due to the low metabolic flux towards the formation of short-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. We are currently working on increasing the titer, yield and productivity of bio-gasoline. Nonetheless, we are pleased to report, for the first time, the production of gasoline through the metabolic engineering of E. coli, which we hope will serve as a basis for the metabolic engineering of microorganisms to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable resources." This research was supported by the Advanced Biomass Research and Development Center of Korea (ABC-2010-0029799) through the Global Frontier Research Program of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) through the National Research Foundation (NRF), Republic of Korea. Systems metabolic engineering work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries (NRF-2012-C1AAA001-2012M1A2A2026556) by MSIP through NRF. Short-Chain Alkanes Generated from Renewable Biomass This diagram shows the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of short-chain alkanes (gasoline) from renewable biomass. Nature Cover Page (September 29th, 2013)
Collaboration with Korea Institute of Energy Research
KAIST and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) agreed on September 4th to further collaboration on energy research such as the development of nano-based hybrid solar cells, bio-fuels, artificial photosynthesis, and carbon dioxide reduction. The two institutions will select 11 research projects to focus on their cooperation. President Steve Kang (in the right) stood with Jooho Whang, the president of KIER (in the left), holding the signed memorandum of understanding.
KAIST and Saudi Aramco agreed to establish a joint CO2 research center in Korea
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Saudi Aramco, a global energy and petrochemicals enterprise, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on January 6, 2013 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and pledged to jointly collaborate in research and development of innovative technologies and solutions to address the world"s energy challenges. Under the MOU, the two entities agreed to establish a research center, Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center, near KAIST"s main campus in Daejeon, Korea. The research center, to be jointly managed by KAIST and Saudi Aramco, will foster and facilitate research collaborations in areas such as tackling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by removal or capture of CO2, conversing CO2 into useful products, developing efficiency improvements in energy production, sharing carbon management technologies, establishing exchange programs, and conducting joint projects. According to Saudi Aramco, the company"s collaboration with KAIST is the first partnership established in Asia. Khalid A. Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said, "The CO2 Research Center represents a major step in Saudi Aramco"s research and technology strategy to partner with top global institutions to help address and find sustainable solutions to the world’s energy challenge both domestically and internationally."
3rd EEWS CEO Forum Held
KAIST EEWS (Energy Environment Water and Sustainability) held the 3rd EEWS CEO Forum at KAIST Seoul Campus. EEWS is a research/education project initiated by KAIST to solve the global issues that the world faces including issues such as: energy depletion, global warming, water shortage, and sustainable development. The 3rd EEWS CEO Forum is dedicated to providing the opportunity to share the vision and experience on technology and policy for green growth. The forum was founded in 2011 with active participation from Woo Ki Jeong (Director of Statistics), Choi Kwang Sik (Korea City Airport, Logistics and Travel, CEO), Kang Young Joong (Daekyo Group, CEO), Yoo Kyung Sun (Eugene Group, CEO), all experts in the field of green growth. The forum consisted of presentations and debate on topics such as: international outlook on green growth, development projects based on new renewable energy, battery of electric vehicles, and development of solar cells. Kim Sang Hyup member of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth started off the series of lectures with the topic of ‘International Outlook on Green Growth’. Kim Joong Gyum CEO of KEPCO followed up with ‘the Future of Electricity Generation Industry and Renewable Energy’, Kim Soo Ryung Director of LG Chemicals gave a talk on ‘Electric Vehicles and the Future of the Battery Industry’, and finally Choi Gi Hyuk CEO of SDN Ltd. gave the final lecture on ‘the Inflection Point of Solar Cell Industry’.
KAIST researchers verify and control the mechanical properties of graphene
KAIST researchers have successfully verified and controlled the mechanical properties of graphene, a next-generation material. Professor Park Jung Yong from the EEWS Graduate School and Professor Kim Yong Hyun from the Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology have succeeded in fluorinating a single atomic-layered graphene sample and controlling its frictional and adhesive properties. This is the first time the frictional properties of graphene have been examined at the atomic level, and the technology is expected to be applied to nano-sized robots and microscopic joints. Graphene is often dubbed “the dream material” because of its ability to conduct high amounts of electricity even when bent, making it the next-generation substitute for silicon semiconductors, paving the way for flexible display and wearable computer technologies. Graphene also has high potential applications in mechanical engineering because of its great material strength, but its mechanical properties remained elusive until now. Professor Park’s research team successfully produced individual graphene samples with fluorine-deficiency at the atomic level by placing the samples in Fluoro-xenon (XeF2) gas and applying heat. The surface of the graphene was scanned using a micro probe and a high vacuum atomic microscope to measure its dynamic properties. The research team found that the fluorinated graphene sample had 6 times more friction and 0.7 times more adhesiveness than the original graphene. Electrical measurements confirmed the fluorination process, and the analysis of the findings helped setup the theory of frictional changes in graphene. Professor Park stated that “graphene can be used for the lubrication of joints in nano-sized devices” and that this research has numerous applications such as the coating of graphene-based microdynamic devices. This research was published in the online June edition of Nano Letters and was supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Education and the National Research Foundation as part of the World Class University (WCU) program.
Inexpensive Separation Method of Graphene Developed
The problem with commercializing graphene that is synthesized onto metals over a wide area is that it can not be separated from the metal. However, a groundbreaking separation technology which is both cheap and environment friendly has been developed. Prof. Taek soo Kim and Prof. Byung Jin Cho"s research teams have conducted this research under the support of the Global Frontier program and Researcher Support Program initiated by The Ministry of Education and Science and Korea Research Foundation. The research results have been posted on the online news flash of Nano Letters on februrary 29th. (Thesis title: Direct Measurement of Adhesion Energy of Monolayer Graphene As-Grown on Copper and Its Application to Renewable Transfer Process) The research has generated exact results on the interfacial adhesive energy of graphene and its surface material for the first time. Through this, the catalyst metal are no longer to be used just once, but will be used for an infinite number of times, thereby being ecofriendly and efficient. Wide area graphine synthesized onto the catalyst meatal are used in various ways such as for display and for solar cells. There has been much research going on in this field. However, in order to use this wide area graphene, the graphene must be removed from the catalyst metal without damage. Until now, the metal had been melted away through the use of chemical substances in order to separate the graphene. However, this method has been very problematic. The metal can not be reused, the costs are very high, much harmful wastes were created in the process of melting the metals, and the process was very complicated. The research teams of Professors Taek Su Kim and Byung Jin Cho measured the interfacial adhesive energy of the synthesized graphene and learned that it could be easily removed. Also, the mechanically removed graphene was successfully used in creating molecular electronic devices directly. This has thus innovatively shortened the graphene manufacturing process. Also, it has been confirmed that the metalic board can be reused multiple times after the graphene is removed. A new, ecofriendly and cost friendly method of graphene manufacturing has been paved. Through this discovery, it is expected that graphene will become easier to manufacture and that the period til the commercialization date of graphene will therefore be greatly reduced Prof. Cho stated " This reserach has much academical meaning significance in that it has successfully defined the surfacial adhesive energy between the graphene and its catalyst material and it should receive much attention in that it solved the largest technical problem involved in the production of graphene.
Exhibition of Investment Demonstration on EEWS Research Held
- Five winners of business-planning project exhibition hold exhibition towards thirteen Angel Investors. Venture capital firm and industry investors are investing for themselves on the Green Growth Project of KAIST, which strives for solutions of global issues, such as; energy depletion, environment pollution and sustainable development. KAIST awarded the winner of "EEWS business-planning exhibition competition" and held investment demonstration exhibition. The exhibition is opened by the winners of the competition and held towards the firms and inventors encouraging capital on green business project and green technologies. The venture capital firms that participated in this exhibition were; Coolidge Corner Investment, Dae-Duk Investment Corp, KPM, Locus Capital Partners and Bo-Gwang Investment. The industry investors that participated were: Samsung C&T Corp, Cheil Industry, Dasan Networks, Hanhwa L&C, thirteen companies in total. The goal of EEWS Exhibition is to encourage the commercialization of research and development. It was co-hosted by DFJ Athena LLC and Ilshin ventures. The competition was divided into business planning section and business technology section. Grand prize on green growth went to Professor Joong-Myeon Bae who suggested "Eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells", runner-up prize went to "Real-time measuring of NOx on Eco-friendly diesels" by Jin-Su Park, the technology director of CIOS. Grand prize of green technology went to "Highly-refractive, heat resisting hybrimer LED sack’ by Byung-Su Bae, professor of new material engineering, participation award went to ‘ITO-Free touch screen for smart phone’ by Min-yang Yang, professor of the department of Mechanical Engineering. A representative of KAIST said those of the firms and investors who have gone through commercialization showed interest on the creativity and the high level of the product. Jae-Kyu Lee, the head of EEWS who supervised the whole exhibition mentioned that, "EEWS Planning Group is consistently going to come up with innovative results” and that “Angel Investors showed enthusiasm. The representatives of Venture capital firm even considered participating as the jury of the competition in the future.” [Definition] EEWS stands for Energy depletion, Environment pollution, Water shortages and Sustainability, a project for the solution of such global issues promoted by KAIST.
Cancer detection from an implantable, flexible LED
Professor Keon Jae Lee A KAIST research team has developed a new type of biocompatible and bendable GaN LED biosensor. Daejeon, the Republic of Korea, August 8, 2011—Can a flexible LED conformably placed on the human heart, situated on the corrugated surface of the human brain, or rolled upon the blood vessels, diagnose or even treat various diseases? These things might be a reality in the near future. The team of Professor Keon Jae Lee (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, KAIST) has developed a new concept: a biocompatible, flexible Gallium Nitride (GaN) LED that can detect prostate cancer. GaN LED, a highly efficient light emitting device, has been commercialized in LED TVs and in the lighting industry. Until now, it has been difficult to use this semiconductor material to fabricate flexible electronic systems due to its brittleness. The research team, however, has succeeded in developing a highly efficient, flexible GaN LED and in detecting cancer using a flexible LED biosensor. Prof. Lee was involved in the first co-invention of "High Performance Flexible Single Crystal GaN" during his PhD course at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). This flexible GaN LED biosensor utilized a similar protocol to transfer thin GaN LED films onto flexible substrates, followed by a biocompatible packaging process; the system’s overall potential for use in implantable biomedical applications was demonstrated. Professor John Roger (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC) said, “Bio-integrated LEDs represent an exciting, new technology with strong potential to address important challenges in human health. This present work represents a very nice contribution to this emerging field.” This paper was published in the online issue of Nano Energy Elsevier Journal (Editor, Prof. Zhong Lin Wang) dated September 16, 2011. Flexible GaN LED produces blue light.
New Scientist: Wind power harnesses the energy of galloping, June 2, 2011
Researchers from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, KAIST, released their research results in Smart Materials and Structures on ways to “harness strange properties of turbulent airs.” They built a prototype that produces energy using a specific type of unstable airflow called “wake galloping.” New Scientist wrote an article about the paper, which appeared on June 2, 2011. For the article, please follow the link below. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028145.700-wind-power-harnesses-the-energy-of-galloping.html?full=true&print=true
Oh Myung Chairman of the Board gives Special Lecture in the S+ Convergence AMP Program
Chairman Oh Myung (CEO of Woong Jin Energy Poly Silicon) gave a special lecture in the KAIST S+ Convergence AMP Program with the topic of ’Dream of a Korea 30 years into the future’. Chairman Oh insisted to the program attendees that they do their best in developing Korea through development of new technology and IT and that he considers education and development of new technology as the reason for Korea’s rapid development. The program invites a guest speaker every month, apart from the planed lectures. The guest speakers were the top of their respective fields. In addition, various activities like riding the OLEV or domestic workshops or educational trips abroad imparted the ability to take on a global perspective.
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