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Research at FAST 2018

Research at FAST 2018

CONTENTS 1 Introduction 2

2 Overview 4

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology 6
Department of Applied Mathematics 8
Department of Applied Physics 10
Institute of Textiles and Clothing 12

3 Our Achievements (2013 - 2018) 14

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology 16
Department of Applied Mathematics 17
Department of Applied Physics 18
Institute of Textiles and Clothing 19
Awards 20

4 Our Research Collaboration with Industry 24

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology 26
Department of Applied Mathematics 27
Department of Applied Physics 28
Institute of Textiles and Clothing 29

5 Our Research Platforms 30

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology 32
Department of Applied Mathematics 33
Department of Applied Physics 34
Institute of Textiles and Clothing 35

6 Our Researchers 36

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology 38
Department of Applied Mathematics 116
Department of Applied Physics 176
Institute of Textiles and Clothing 220

7 Index 288



F aculty of
A pplied
S cience and
T extiles

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology
Department of Applied Mathematics
Department of Applied Physics
Institute of Textiles and Clothing




FAST is committed to conducting cutting-edge research and dedicated to engaging
in innovative projects that generate regional and international impacts. Comprising
four academic departments, each unique in its own discipline, FAST has cemented
our presence pushing forward on major frontiers in science and technology. Our pursuit
of research excellence are supported by the well-established research platforms.
With innovation driven research and new University Research Facilities, we proudly
present this new edition of Research at FAST that features our latest research
directions, strategies and impact of our research effort.
Consistently supporting innovative and high-impact research work, our excellent
research infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment form solid research platforms
for our multi-disciplinary research activities. Some of them will be introduced in this
It is nothing more important than our brilliant research team. We introduce here
profiles of our Faculty’s most invaluable assets – our research staff. Discover more
about their research activities and explore potential collaboration opportunities.
Relentlessly focusing on application is fundamental to our research activities. FAST’s
research activities emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration, industry partnerships
as well as service to society which enable us to create practical solution with impact.
We are pleased to share with you some of our successful stories.
FAST looks forward to further building strategic connections with other academic
entities and forging even more industrial partnerships to generate social, technological,
and economic impact at both regional and global levels.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 3

4 Research at FAST

2 Overview


Department of

Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Research Focus Impact Stories

The unique combination of our areas of expertise that New Platforms for Developing Anti-cancer Drugs
include biological sciences, chemistry and food science
enables ABCT to engage in multidisciplinary research The discovery of arginase and flavonoid dimer as potent
and collaborative projects in a broad range of research anti-cancer drugs has opened up a variety of applications
domains. Building upon basic science and innovating in cancer treatment, which include the reversing of cancer
through forward-looking multidisciplinary research, our drug resistance, the developing of oral anti-cancer drugs
Department partners with industry for technology and as well as the treating of brain cancer, liver cancer and
knowledge transfer to serve and benefit the wider leukemia. Our anti-cancer applications of arginase and
c o m m u n i t y. flavonoid dimer, already proven safe in animal studies,
have won awards and been licensed to our partners in
Our Research Programmes industry for further clinical trials.

Cancer Research Healthy Living through Functional Food
Focusing on elucidating the mechanisms of different
cancers and the molecular aspects of cancer metastasis, To facilitate the establishment of an evidence-based
as well as developing novel anti-cancer drugs. functional food industry in Hong Kong and Mainland
China, our department is actively collaborating with some major
Chemical Imaging and Biosensing health food companies to transform natural bio-resources
With a focus on developing new light-emitting materials into novel functional foods to promote good health as well
and imaging probes, we explore the construction of novel as to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Our research
biosensors for screening antimicrobial agents. interests include the use of dietary factors and Chinese
medicinal herbs for improving bone health and preventing
Drug Discovery and TCM age-related diseases as well as delineating the mechanisms
Exploring new drugs, biomarkers, delivery systems and that are involved in mediating their protective effects. We
production technologies for treating cancer and other have also been engaging in developing functional foods
diseases. We also examine the therapeutic effects of from natural and bioactive polysaccharides in addition to
Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs. investigating the prebiotic functions and anti-inflammatory
activities of medicinal fungi in China. Our long-term goal
Food Safety and Technology is to create a culture in the health food industry that is
Developing new technologies in food science, food high-quality, safe and evidence-based.
engineering and functional foods.

New Materials and Nanotechnology
With a focus on the design and synthesis of nanoparticles
with tailor-made properties for specific applications, such as
wastewater treatment and gene/ drug delivery and imaging,
we also develop new functional materials for emerging

Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis

Focusing on developing new, efficient and sustainable
synthetic methods for streamlining organic synthesis and
facilitating inter-disciplinary collaborations between chemists
and biologists.

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

Focusing on developing new materials and composites
for renewable energy-related catalysis, such as solar cells
and batteries.

6 Research at FAST


An Innovative Path to Drug Discovery: limitations have spurred the current interest in using algae
from the Molecular Basis of Antimicrobial as a more effective biofuel source over conventional
Resistance to Novel Antibiotic Development biofuel sources such as corn. We have established a
highly efficient mobile algal harvesting system to collect
The disconnection between clinical research and basic algal biomass for biodiesel production from freshwater.
science is a critical issue in the current research on
bacterial antimicrobial resistance. To address this We have also developed a new catalyst to raise the
problem, our research programmes utilize multidisciplinary standards of practice in the biodiesel industry practice to
approaches that interface clinical study and basic science. a more sustainable and environmentally friendly level.
We conduct comprehensive epidemiological studies on Operating at low temperature and pressure and thus
multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens recovered requiring less energy, this newly developed catalyst is
from animals, food samples and clinical settings to obtain highly compatible with low-grade unrefined feedstock
first-hand high resolution epidemiological data and through a one-step simultaneous esterification and
delineate the origins and transmission dynamics of MDR transesterification reaction. This technology is ready for
organisms. Our unique study programme enables us to commercialization and knowledge transfer.
accurately evaluate the strengths and limitations of various
methodologies in the investigation of MDR issues.

Combating Counterfeiting and Tampering of Identifying Safe Edible Oils
Products by using Nano-based Ink Technology
Authentication and quality control of edible oils are increasingly
Our researchers have invented a new indelible printing ink important issues in food safety. We have developed a method
that allows tamper-evident packaging of products. This for the direct analysis of edible oils using matrix-assisted
“Anti-erasing” (ATE) ink for example, when used to print product laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS)
information label, can provide visible evidence to consumers and established a corresponding spectral database containing
if the label has been tampered with. The tracing marks various types of edible oils. Fraudulently mislabeled gutter
it leaves upon tampering also make it possible to track and oils can thus be quickly screened out. To protect public
trace fraudulent items throughout the supply chain for health and help food traders maintain good quality cooking
anti-counterfeiting investigation. Our ATE ink has received oils, we are now working with the Government of the Hong
immense attention from the industry; it is already used by Kong Special Administrative Region and local food
China Mengniu Dairy Company in their production lines. premises to draft safety guidelines on good practice of
using cooking oil.

Making Biofuels Viable

Biofuels, which are biodegradable, non-toxic and
environmentally friendly, are considered a promising
source of renewable energy. However, the first and
second generations of biofuels have certain limitations. For
example, liquid biodiesel catalysts traditionally used in
biofuel production normally generate huge amounts of
wastewater in the final step of product purification. Such

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 7

Department of

Applied Mathematics

Research Focus

Our Department currently has three major research groups:

• Applied Statistics and Financial Mathematics
• Optimization and Operations Research
• Engineering and Computational Mathematics

Our Aim Prof. Xuming He, Prof. Ian H. Sloan,
University of Michigan The University of New South Wales
We aim to become a major international centre of excellence
in Applied Mathematics facilitating learning through Increasing Research Power
excellent teaching and research. PolyU has been listed in
the world top 100 in Mathematics for two consecutive years We organize meetings to share grant application experience
and 44th in the world in Statistics and Operational Research and provide financial support for external peer reviews and
by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking collaborators. The following table shows our Department’s
2017. The latest 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranked growing track record of winning RGC GRF/ECS grants.
PolyU the 52nd Best Global Universities for Mathematics.
On top of RGC grants, our staff also received grants
Growing International Presence from the National Natural Science Foundation of China,
the Council for the AIDS Trust Fund, the Food and Health
Our Department invites and provides research funding Bureau, and other Industrial Grant Agencies, such as
to excellent researchers to collaborate with our faculty Huawei and 7-Eleven Stores.
members. We also invite renowned researchers to give
distinguished lectures and exchange ideas with our International Recognition
colleagues through organizing and hosting international
conferences/ workshops. In 2017, we organized the 3rd Our research in Mathematics and Statistics has
International Conference on Engineering and Computational achieved remarkable recognition since 2009. 71% of
Mathematics serving more than 300 participants from AMA’s research has achieved a 4 star ‘world leading’ or
around the world. To commemorate PolyU’s 80th Anniversary 3 star ‘internationally excellent’ rating according to the
and our 45th Anniversary, we ran a distinguished lecture Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2014 conducted
series in celebration. by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong. We
will continue to allocate resources to research and
Prof. Stephen Boyd, Prof. Yinyu Ye, encourage our staff to publish high quality papers
Stanford University Stanford University in leading international journals with an eye to further
boosting our rankings in the forthcoming RAE in 2020.

8 Research at FAST


Moving Forward Finding Solutions through Massive and
High Dimensional Data
2017 has been a remarkable year for our Department. The
arrival of two new Chair Professors has added significant The advance of high computing power means computer
research prominence in Statistics and Optimization, an area intensive statistical methodologies involving massive or
of vital contemporary importance, further strengthening high dimensional data have become employable to solve
our Department’s vitality and reputation. On 24 February many practical problems. Different applications we have
2018, we organized the Greater Bay Area Optimization been involved in include:
Day, a high-level research forum for enhancing collaborations
on the future development of optimization and its applications • developing data analytics for businesses such as
among Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area convenience stores and mega malls to model and
researchers. In addition, PolyU established the University predict consumer behavior
Research Facility in Big Data Analytics in May 2018, jointly
managed by AMA and Department of Computing. Our • developing finance analytics for analyzing and forecasting
Department will facilitate multidisciplinary research in big financial market prices
• analyzing pollution and its knock on effects on business
and health

Solutions through Statistical Analysis

Through studying techniques to better utilize available data,
we can provide methods for optimizing business performance.
Seeking to solve the vehicle routing problem, we have
investigated statistical techniques to model uncertainty in
travel time. As recently the Hong Kong Transport Department
publicly launched the traffic speed map, we can apply our
methods to make real time route planning more feasible and

Impact Stories Health Care Applications

AMA is devoted to developing solutions to practical problems Infectious disease outbreaks pose huge threats to human
through mathematical techniques and models. We have society. Mathematical modeling and statistical inference are
collaborated with different industrial partners to conduct powerful tools to control and prevent disease outbreaks.
applied research. Recent examples include: Using tools we developed, we have worked on a variety of
recent disease outbreaks (including influenza, Middle East
Optimization Applications
Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, the
Optimization has found many applications in engineering Zika virus and Yellow fever) achieving
research. To design successful products, it is important to crucial insights to drive control strategies.
know how to formulate the design problem in a format that can Our health care applications work has
be tackled by optimization, and then find suitable algorithms caught wide media attention and has
to solve the formulated problem. As the formulated problems been cited in Government agency reports.
are usually highly nonlinear and nonconvex, sophisticated
global optimization techniques need to be developed for
individual problems. Using optimization, we have designed
acoustic signal processing techniques that have impacted
society and industry. Impacts include the development of
multichannel methods to enhance speech recognition system
accuracy for commercial deployment in voice control devices.
Another impact is our improvement of existing LDPC code
BER performance by at least 10% in most cases. A further
illustration of our practical optimization applications is a
novel automated method we developed for early glaucoma
detection by determining the anterior chamber angle.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 9

Department of

Applied Physics

Research Focus

Our research emphasis over the past decades has driven Smart Materials and Devices
our evolution into a highly reputable materials research
centre. We play a leading role in PolyU in publishing top including ferroelectric and piezoelectric smart materials,
high-impact journal papers. Our staff have established links nanocomposites, high-k dielectrics, magnetic materials and
and effective working relationships with colleagues in the design and fabrication of smart devices (such as ultrasonic
institutions near and far. Focusing on materials science, motors, piezoelectric transformers, actuators, transducers
our Department conducts high-impact research in the and sensors).
following five major research areas:
Theoretical and Computational Physics
Energy Materials and Devices
including analytical modeling and numerical simulation of
including energy harvesting, energy generation and electromagnetic waves, transient analysis of semiconductor
storage, developing new generation of solar cells as lasers, investigating wave dynamics in plasmonic devices
well as batteries and supercapacitors. and photoni c cr ystal s, fi rst-pri nci pl es cal c ulat ions
on various materials, glassy polymer nanofilms, electron
Nanomaterials transport in quantum devices and nanostructures in
strained thin films.
including two-dimensional (2D) materials for nanoelectronic
and optoelectronic devices, graphene quantum dots for AP has been classified as the best in materials science
device applications, nanostructures for waste treatment, and the overall second best among all Hong Kong physics
nanomaterial characterization techniques; multifunctional departments, according to Hong Kong Research Grants
rare-earth doped nanomaterials for biosensors and multi-modal Council’s latest Research Assessment Exercise. In addition
medical imaging. to achieving excellence in research publications, our
research teams have won more than HK$60 million in
external research grants since 2011. The Department
has also greatly contributed to the establishment of
several research facilities in PolyU including the University
Research Facility in Materials Characterization and Device
Fabrication (UMF), which consists of a Centre for Electron
Microscopy, a Materials Research Centre and a Class-100
Clean Room.

Photonic Materials and Devices

including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes,
hybrid inorganic-organic perovskite optoelectronics devices,
organic photovoltaic and thin film transistors, ultrafast optics,
plasmonics and nanophotonics as well as laser development
and applications.

10 Research at FAST


Impact Stories

Ultra-sensitive and Low-cost Transistor-based High-performance Ultrasound Transducers
Biosensors Development Development

Prof. Feng Yan has successfully developed ultra-sensitive Prof. Jiyan Dai’s group has been devoted to developing
and low-cost transistor-based biosensors able to detect many high-performance ultrasound transducers including phase-array,
disease biomarkers such as glucose, uric acid, protein, micro annular-array, high-frequency transducers as well as endoscopic
RNA, etc. The noninvasive detection of glucose in the human and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) transducers for medical
body is just one major application. This development of high imaging for the last 15 years. We have successfully
performance biosensors for noninvasive blood glucose mon- completed ITF projects in ultrasound transducers development
itoring means diabetic patients no longer need to regularly and a new ITF high-frequency phase-array transducer
and frequently undergo the painful conventional methods of project is running for eye and small animal imaging.
taking blood samples. The newly invented biosensor is highly Prof. Dai has also led a team for the National 973 project to
sensitive to glucose and capable of measuring the range of develop high-performance ultrasound transducers, some
glucose in saliva accurately in a convenient, safe and in- of which have been licensed and are in use by industry.
expensive manner. In addition, this transistor-based biosensor These efforts and pioneering works have greatly
platform is highly versatile. By changing to suitable enzymes, accelerated the progress of China’s medical ultrasound
the platform can be used to measure the levels of uric acid, imaging technology. For example, IVUS is a new medical
ascorbic acid, cholesterol and other materials in body fluids. imaging methodology using a specially designed catheter
The biosensors have been fabricated on flexible substrates with a miniaturized ultrasound probe attached to the
and can perform on a variety of curved and moving surfaces, catheter’s distal end. Proving most valuable, IVUS can
including human skin, smart textiles and medical bandages. visualize plaque which cannot be seen by angiography,
Thus, they have great potential for development into wearable and therefore, this technique has been increasingly
electronic applications, such as wearable biosensors for used in diagnostics in the atherosclerosis process.
glucose level analysis of sweat during exercise simply by The figure shows the coronary artery image of a pig
using a mobile phone. As diabetes cases soar, this technique obtained by the development of the 40 MHz self-focused
has attracted much industry attention. The patent will be IVUS probe. The self-focused type IVUS transducer has been
licensed to some companies soon for commercialization. patented and is being licensed to industry.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 11

Institute of

Textiles and Clothing

Research Focus Impact Stories

Our fundamental and applied research in: Nu-Torque

• fashion and textile technology Old method - Weak and Wasteful
• fashion and textile design
• fashion business Since the invention of the ring spinning machine in 1828, the
problem of low strength in single yarns caused by low twist
has had a proud and illustrious history. has not been solved. It was generally believed impossible
for single yarns to possess low torque, low twist and high
Fashion and Textile Technology strength simultaneously. No ring spinning methods could
significantly reduce yarn residual torque by reducing twist.
including bionic chromatic textile materials for sustainability, Consequently, subsequent finishing treatment is needed in
textile material based energy harvesting and storage, wearable downstream processing. It increases energy consumption,
electronics, non-contact image-based colour measurement, damages fibers and discharges large amounts of wasted
developing new fabric structure and bio-based green colorants, gas, chemicals and wastewater.
intelligent textile material defect detection as well as virtual
clothing simulation and animation. Related recent articles New single step solution - Nu-Torque
featured in leading publications such as Nature, Nature
Communications, Advanced Functional Materials, Proceedings Nu-Torque™ technology created through Prof. Xiaoming
of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Tao and her team’s fundamental and applied research on
America, etc. yarn spinning technology can provide the solution. This
new single-step technology enables production of low
Fashion and Textile Design torque single yarns on a single machine with increased
spinning productivity, at low cost and with reduced energy
including metallic textile design and development, interactive consumption. Yarn plying and setting processing can be
photonic textile design and development, health care avoided, significantly reducing energy consumption.
apparel product development, integration of fashion design Enabling an environmentally sustainable process, the
and wearable electronics, and high performance sportswear new approach not only eliminates the source of yarn
design and development. Recent high impact outputs residual torque and its related defects on fabrics and
have been adopted by the Hong Kong Rowing Team, apparel fiber damage but also eliminates discharges of
showcased in prestigious museums, such as London’s wasted gas, chemicals and wasted water. This technology
Victoria and Albert Museum, and won prestigious design substantially increases yarn productivity, distinctly improves
awards. textiles and garment quality and significantly saves energy
in production. Productivity is boosted by 20-40% and
Fashion Business energy used for spinning is slashed by 3.77 million
kilowatt per 10K tons of 30Ne yarn. On top of being
including consumer behavior, sustainability, artificial greener and more efficient, this technology yields novel
intelligence, big data exploitation as well as fashion yarns with unique structure and properties, such as low
and textile supply chain and quality management. Recent torque, reduced twist and high strength. The method also
leading journal publications include Organization Science, reduces yarn twist by 20-40% compared to the conventional
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning method. Nu-Torque holds the world record for the lowest
Systems, IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics and Journal of yarn twist of all ring spinning methods.
Operations Management.

12 Research at FAST


This technology has been commercialized successfully, with Real Life Improvements
substantial economic and social benefits. A large number of
spinning companies around the world are using Nu-Torque, Incorporating advanced materials (smart textiles) and
including the top fine and core yarn manufacturers. Many technologies (biomechanics, biofeedback and computer
major retailers are selling garments created by Nu-Torque. modelling), our care apparel marries academic research
with impactful projects. These projects include:

Care Apparel for Better Living • anti-strip jumpsuit for the elderly with dementia (adopted
by Tung Wah Hospital care centres)
Impactful Research and Development
• contemporary designs for wearable electronic fashions with
Our care apparel design and product development research thermal regulation
has driven multidisciplinary collaboration between design,
textile material, rehabilitation, and health care researchers. ITC • compression textiles for treatment of chronic venous
has engaged in a vast range of multidisciplinary collaborative insufficiency
projects supported by competitive government grants,
donations from industry, private sectors and individuals. • posture correction girdles for adolescents with early
NGO invitations and collaborations with local hospitals (such scoliosis
as Queen Mary Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Queen
Elizabeth Hospital, and Kowloon Hospital) as well as • eye-patches for phototherapy
hospitals in mainland China and Taiwan. Radically changing
the traditional dimensions of apparel beyond being merely • pressure therapy gloves
aesthetics-based to solving the daily life problems of hospital
patients and people with different apparel needs, these • insoles for diabetic patients
projects exploit and push the boundaries of advanced
technology and textile innovation. Through our design • footwear for geriatrics
process and exhibitions, we are positively contributing
society as well as connecting users and different community These projects have generated high impact publications,
partners. guided designers, manufacturers and procurers in improving
designs for the frontline of health care provision, and created
life improving products for needy residents.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 13

14 Research at FAST

3 Our Achievements


Department of

Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Drug Discovery Prof. Raymond Wong, Chair Professor of Chemical
Technology, was named in the list of Highly Cited
In the drug discovery arena, our Department has long Researchers 2015 published by Thomson Reuters. In addition,
endeavoured at developing translational medicine and
biotechnology research. Uniquely in Hong Kong, we have Prof. Yu Wing Yiu Michael
obtained three Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals from and Dr Man-kin Wong have
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Our cutting-edge received the Asian Core
research has been published in world-leading journals Program/ Advanced Research
including Nature Genetics, Nature Communications and Cancer Network Lectureship awards
Research. in 2015 and 2016 respectively
BCT-100, a biologic developed by one of our research for their high-quality scientific
teams, a novel liver cancer therapy, was Hong Kong’s first achievements.
IND to receive FDA approval in 2012. BCT-100 is now
undergoing clinical trials in US. With funding support from Food Technology
the Lo Ka Chung Charitable Foundation and in partnership with
a Hong Kong biotech company, Prof. Thomas Leung and In the food safety technology arena, our Department is deeply
Dr Thomas Lo developed an improved generation of BCT-100. engaged with government entities and local businesses to
The new drug has been licensed to industry for conducting provide science-based expertise to Hong Kong and south
preclinical and clinical trial in 2017. China’s food industry. Our colleagues have developed the first
comprehensive Food Hygiene Standard Certification System
Our second IND approval was received in 2016 when a (FHSCS) in Hong Kong. Officially launched in September
cross-disciplinary team of chemists and biologists developed 2017, our FHSCS protects public health and enables the
a potent small molecule to reverse drug resistance in cancer sustainable development of the local catering industry by
cells. Designed collaboratively by Prof. Larry Chow and enhancing both food hygiene and safety standards. Our
Visiting Chair Prof. Bill Chan, this compound shows highly Department also offers FDA approved food safety training
promising results in multiple cancer models. Licensed to a in Hong Kong and Shenzhen and runs a student internship
US biotech company and funded by the University-Industry training program with Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and
Collaboration Program of Innovative Technology Council, Quarantine Bureau. Through such extensive collaboration
pre-clinical studies of this drug are now under preparation with government and industrial sectors, our food technology
in US and China. The Oratopo project co-developed by program produces profession-oriented and superbly-trained
Athenex Hong Kong and Prof. Larry Chow received the food technologists as well as food safety officers to serve and
third IND approval in 2017. The Oratopo is developed for benefit both Hong Kong and regional communities.
treatment of advanced cancer and this invention has created
a novel, all-oral chemotherapy regimen for the treatment of
numerous cancers.

Chemical Science

In the chemical science
arena, our Department has
delivered world-leading
research output with
publications in top journals
including Science, Nature
Communications, PNAS
and JACS.

16 Research at FAST

Our Achievements

Department of

Applied Mathematics

Statistical Theory and Applications weighted differences between the rates of increase of the
counting processes’ estimated mean functions over observation
Dr Zhao Xingqiu received one of the 2014 Ministry of times. The nonparametric maximum likelihood approach is
Education Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research used to estimate the mean function instead of the nonparametric
Output Awards, the Natural Science Award, Second Class maximum pseudo-likelihood. The asymptotic distributions of
based on her studies, together with her research collaborators, the proposed test statistics are derived and their finite-sample
on Large Deviation Theory in Stochastic Processes and properties are examined through Monte Carlo simulations. The
Statistics. simulation results, based on two real data sets, show that the
proposed methods work well and are more powerful than the
existing test procedures.

These main achievements have been reported in the top
statistical journal The Annals of Statistics.

The delta method is a popular fundamental tool for deriving Two Matrix Inequality Conjectures Solved
limiting distributions of transformed statistics. However,
previous applications of asymptotic distributions do not allow The JMAA Ames Awards honor the memory of Dr William
one to obtain desirable accuracy of approximation for tail F. Ames, the dedicated Editor-in-Chief of the Journal
probabilities. Now the large and moderate deviation theory of Mathematical Analysis and Applications (JMAA) during
can achieve this goal. Motivated by the delta method in weak 1991-2006. After his passing away in 2008, two awards, in
convergence, Dr Zhao’s research team and her collaborators pure and applied mathematics, were established by his relatives
proposed a general delta method in large deviations. This to recognize Dr Ames’ many years of outstanding service
new method can be widely used to establish the moderate to the Journal and contributions to the field of applied
deviation principles for the Wilcoxon statistic, the Kaplan-Meier mathematics.  The decision on the winners of the awards
estimator, the empirical quantile estimator and the empirical was made by the Editorial Board of the JMAA.
copula estimator. Existing moderate deviation results for
M-estimators and L-statistics have also been improved by the In this awarded paper, Dr Raymond Sze and his collaborator
new method. Moreover, their moderate deviation results are answered positively to two conjectures related to the
very useful for statistical hypothesis testing. In particular, well-known Fischer inequality on determinants of positive
a moderate deviation result can be used to test a statistical semi-definite complex matrices. Both conjectures address
hypothesis such that the probabilities of both Type I and Type II improvements of the known bounds of involved constants.
errors tend to be 0 with an exponentially decaying speed as The first conjecture concerns the family of accretive-
sample size goes to infinity. dissipative matrices, while the second one is based
upon the concept of the numerical range of matrices
Applications show that the proposed new delta method is very and sectors of half angle. The determinantal estimates of
powerful for deriving moderate deviation principles on estimators. this type are useful for investigation of the growth factor in
The method have played a vital role in large sample theory of Gaussian elimination.
statistics like the functional delta method in weak convergence.
Theoretically speaking, one can apply the proposed delta
method to obtain moderate deviations for estimators where the
classical delta method can be applied.

Dr Zhao and her team also considered the problem of mul-
ti-sample nonparametric comparison of counting processes
with panel count data. These arise naturally when recurrent
events are considered. Such data, for example, frequently
occur in medical follow-up studies and reliability experiments.
To overcome this problem, they constructed two new classes
of nonparametric test statistics based on the accumulated

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 17

Department of

Applied Physics

Tunable Optical Filters Solar Powered Water Purifiers

Electrolyte-tuned optical tunable filter is a novel tunable Solar reactor for photocatalytic water purification is for a
optical filter developed through contracted research funded
by the world-leading telecommunication company Huawei large-scale water purification, able to decontaminate
Technologies Co. Ltd. This filter acts as the wavelength
selection component in tunable lasers and can narrow laser polluted wastewater at low cost and high efficiency just
linewidth to 10 kHz. This ultra-narrow linewidth tunable laser
is a core component for the next-generation coherent optical through using sunlight. This invention’s core technique is a
communication networks.
simple spraying and soaking method to fabricate high-

ly-uniform, olanrgthee-aPrMeaMATiOsu2 bdsutrraatbel.eT, hliisghlatwrgeeigshotlaarnrdeacntoonr
-brittle film

can process large amounts of water using only sunlight

and can be integrated into existing wastewater treatment


Design of the tunable optical filter device and its integration into the
packaged tunable laser

Printable High-performance Batteries

Aqueous manganese dioxide ink for flexible energy storage

device can produce new low-cost paper-based batteries

using inkjet printers. A simple approach has been developed

to synthesize novel environmentally-friendly manganese Solar reactor under outdoor test using sunlight

dioxide (uMsinnOg2)MinnOk 2usininkgcagnlucporosdeu. cOerdliignhatr,y,theinve, nflehxoibmlee-aunsde Efficient and Economical Semitransparent
printers Solar Cells for Buildings

high-performance energy storage devices. The MnO2 ink Semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene
supercapacitor has more than 30 times the capacity electrodes is for highly-efficient and low-cost semitransparent
solar cells, using perovskite materials as the photoactive layer
of commercial capacitors using the same weight of active for light absorption, and graphene as the electrodes. These
semitransparent solar cells can replace conventional building
material (e.g. carbon powder). This illustrates the great materials and be incorporated into windows, facades,
louvers and rooftops to convert solar energy into electricity,
pdoetveicnetiapleorffoMrnmOa2nicnek, in significantly enhancing energy storage substantially increasing the surface area available for solar
even though production cost is less than energy collection.


Structure design and measured performance of the solar cell

18 Research at FAST

Our Achievements

Institute of

Textiles and Clothing

Coloring the world through science and heart Weaving multidisciplinary knowledge,
skills and understanding to regain adolescent
Dr C.W. Kan received the Silver Medal from The Society spinal health
of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) in recognition of his significant
contribution to education and the coloration industry in Dr Joanne Yip conducts pioneering and practical research
Hong Kong. Founded in 1884 and granted Royal Charter on treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) - a condition
in 1963, the SDC is the world’s leading independent, of abnormally curved spine during this prime growth age.
educational charity dedicated to advancing and educating Dr Yip’s AIS studies are multidisciplinary, involving experts
the world about the science and technology of colour. Since in materials science and textiles, garment design and
2008, Dr Kan has actively organized and advised the Hong technology, orthopaedics, engineering and biomechanics.
Kong Heat of the SDC Student Design Competition, The design process involves the 3D modeling of patients’
an international student design competition on use trunk shape, girdle design, material selection and girdle
and application of colour spanning 14 countries and areas. fabrication, passive and active corrections as well as thorough
Among the SDC’s 60 active Fellows worldwide, Dr Kan has clinical trialing. As principal-investigator, Dr Yip has received
been awarded Chartered Colourist status, a prestigious six external research grants (GRF and ITF of approximately
recognition of his contributions to colour science and HK$7 million) in relation to the treatment of AIS since 2012.
technology. Her research outputs have been internationally recognized,
winning 4 international invention awards in the last three

Dr Kan’s latest research investigates applying sustainable Dr Yip’s works are published in leading SCI journals such
processing (such as plasma and laser) to treat textile as Scientific Reports, Annals of Biomedical Engineering,
materials, and developing sustainable cotton and wool Frontiers in Physiology, Ergonomics, the Journal of the
fibre coloration methods. These novel coloration methods American Academy of Dermatology, Bioresource Technology,
save 90% more water during dyeing compared to conventional Carbohydrates Polymer, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical,
water-based dyeing. These cutting-edge research works are Expert Systems with Application, Smart Materials and
financially supported (over HK$5.7 million) by the Innovation Structures. Dr Yip has published 70 refereed journals, 8 book
and Technology Fund (ITF) of the Hong Kong Government chapters and has been granted three U.S. and two China
and world-leading industrial partners. Coloring our world in patents. Her AIS related patents have been commercialized
greener and safer ways, Dr Kan’s research works immediately to help suffering adolescents all around the world regain their
impact industry practitioners. powerful postures.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 19

AWARDS (2013 - 2018)


ABCT 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Gold Medal &
42nd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Thailand Award for Best International Invention
AMA The Ministry of Education from The National Research Council of Thailand
Gold Medal &
41st International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Special Merit Award from The National Research
The Ministry of Education Council of Thailand
The Ministry of Education
Research Output Awards -
The Hong Kong Mathematical Society Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications
The Ministry of Education Gold Medal &
Special Award from the Romanian Delegation
TechConnect World Conference and Expo
Research Output Awards -
Natural Science Award (Second Class)

Research Output Awards -

(Second Class)

The Hong Kong Mathematical Society
Young Scholars Award

2014 Journal of Mathematical Analysis
and Applications (JMAA) Ames Awards

Research Output Awards
(Science and Technology) -
Natural Science Award (Second Class)
TechConnect Global Innovation Awards

AP 45th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury &
Community of Romania
The 7th International Multidisciplinary Conference Best Paper Award

The Ministry of Land and Resources of the Science and Technology Award (Second Class)
People’s Republic of China
International Invention Innovation Competition Gold Medal

7th International Conference on Materials for Best Poster Award
Advanced Technologies

20 Research at FAST

Our Achievements

Catalyst for green biodiesel production from Dr YUNG Ka-fu 2014
Preparation of food grade capsules with Dr WANG Yi
targeted drug delivery Dr WONG Ka-hing 2013
Development of new series of highly tunable Dr SO Chau-ming 2013
phosphine ligands and explanation of
problematic and challenging cross-coupling Prof. CHOW Larry M.C.
reactions Prof. CHAN Tak-hang
Prof. WONG Kwok Yin
reversing cancer drug resistance Prof. LEUNG Yun-chung

Fluorescent biosensing and probe technology Prof. WONG Man Sau

Modernization and application of traditional
chinese medicine for anti-osteoporosis

Dr QIAO Zhonghua 2018
Determinantal and eigenvalue inequalities Dr SZE Nung-Sing, Raymond 2014
for matrices with numerical ranges in a sector Dr ZHAO Xingqiu
Studies on the large deviation theory 2017
in stochastic processes and statistics 2017
Composite multilayers capacitors with colossal Prof. HAO Jianhua 2016
permittivity for electronics and energy storage Prof. HAO Jianhua 2013

Study on the dielectric and magnetic effects Dr ZHANG Xuming
of mineral composites Dr HUANG Haitao
Prof. YAN Feng
Semitransparent perovskite solar cells Dr ZHANG Xuming
with graphene electrodes

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 21


45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Gold Medal with
45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva the Congratulations of Jury
45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Gold Medal with
China National Textile and Apparel Council the Congratulations of Jury
The Society of Dyers and Colourists Gold Medal
2016 International FABI Exhibition
44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva First Class Award in
The Journal of Operations Management Science & Technology Advancement
Silver Medal
43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva
Seoul International Invention Fair Excellence Award for Textile
Gold Medal
42nd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Finalist, The Jack Meredith Best Paper Award
National Industry, Academia and Research Innovation
Society Gold Medal
The Society of Dyers and Colourists
China Hi-Tech Fair Gold Prize & Diploma from
The First Institute Inventors
and Researchers in I.R.Iran
Gold Medal

China Collaboration and Innovation
Achievement Award
Gold Medal

Excellent Product

22 Research at FAST

Our Achievements

New functional textiles from bio-based Prof. TAO Xiao-ming 2017
and degradable fibres 2017
Dr XU Bingang 2017
Development of fine worsted yak yarns 2017
and fabrics Dr YIP Joanne 2016
Tank-Top with biofeedback system Prof. XIN John 2016
for adolescents with scoliosis
Dr KAN Chi Wai 2015
Development & application of key technology 2015
for color digitization of yarn dyeing industry Dr TAN Jeanne
Dr LI Li 2014
For significant contributions to the society Dr WONG Christina 2014
in education and the coloration industry 2014
Dr YIP Joanne 2013
Sylvan Dr YICK Kit Lun
Dr SHIN Kristina
Innovative spinning system for chitosan yarn

The contingency effects of environmental
uncertainty on the relationship between supply
chain integration and operational performance

Posture correction girdle for adolescents with
early scoliosis arranged by IfE

Thermal and moisture comfort nastectomy bra
and prosthesis

Smart impact protective 3D-spacer fabric of Prof. HU Hong
adaptive stiffness Prof. TAO Xiao-ming
Prof. XIN John
New low torque energy-saving spinning systems – Dr HUI Patrick
principle, key technologies and commercialization

For outstanding research and innovation
into novel textile finishes

Smart garment with TCHM microcapsules
for treating atopic dermatitis

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 23

24 Research at FAST

4 Our Research Collaboration
with Industry


Department of

Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

ABCT collaborates with industry to solve real life problems through innovation technology.

Combating Counterfeiting and Tampering Reversing Cancer Drug Resistance with a
through Nano-based Anti-erasing Ink Natural Nutrient
As cancer cells develop drug resistance, cancer drugs will
Criminal tampering with packaging information such as gradually lose their effectiveness. This seemingly inevitable
expiry dates, materials and production location is a growing problem is being dealt with by a cross-disciplinary research
issue in the global economy. Packages are vulnerable to team led by Prof. Larry Chow and Prof. Bill Chan who have
deliberate tampering because traditional prints can be derived a new flavinoid dimer from a natural nutrient. This
easily removed by chemicals such as solvents even nail compound can reverse drug resistance through preventing
varnish remover. Unscrupulous wholesalers, distributors drug efflux thereby boosting successful treatment outcomes.
and retailers alter expiry dates by wiping them off, fooling This invention has been licensed to Kinex Pharmaceuticals,
consumers into buying foods that are out of date. Deceptive Inc. In March 2018, Athenex, Inc., a global specialty oncology
labels hiding a product’s true origins or even harmful pharmaceutical company focused on development and
ingredients can pose fatal health risks to thousands. commercialization of next generation cancer treatment
therapies, piloted a new drug containing this compound
“Anti-erasing” (ATE) ink, developed by Prof. Pei Li and her in the US. The Hong Kong Innovation and Technology
research team, prevents packaging information removal. Commission, through the University-
The research was commissioned by Hallyuen Holdings Ltd., Industry Collaboration Programme, is
a Hong Kong-based company, which saw a pressing need for supporting this work.
anti-fraud packaging and commissioned this research project.
The result is that Prof. Pei Li and her team’s ATE is now in use,
actively prohibiting fraudsters tampering with product labels
and packages, thereby keeping the public safe from harm.

A range of companies from the dairy, beverage, food
processing, electric cable, textile industries in Hong Kong
and Mainland China are keenly interested in using
our ATE for printing on their products. Already, one of the
largest dairy producers in China, China
Mengniu Dairy, is using this novel printing
technology for a variety of their dairy

26 Research at FAST

Our Research Collaboration with Industry

Department of

Applied Mathematics

AMA conducts high impact research with applications in engineering, science, communication,
finance and retailing.

Optimizing Communication Networks Aiding Retail and Finance

AMA is working with Huawei Technologies Company Limited, AMA also partners business leaders in developing modern
a global information and communications technology statistical models for both the finance and retail industry.
solutions leader, on developing optimization methods Together with a financial service company, our research team
for communication networks. A research team, led by is developing a new indicator system based on high frequency
Prof. Cedric Yiu, has investigated optimization market data for Hong Kong and Mainland China stock
techniques on a parameter tuning problem markets. These indicators can be applied in data analytics
in the LDPC decoding algorithm to speed up to handle high frequency trade, limit order book, and
the convergence of the algorithm in various increase the accuracy of trading and risk analysis.
communication devices including conventional
electronics and optical devices.

In general communication networks, noise often distorts and
contaminates transmitted signals. Adding parity codes to the
signals, functions as an error correction mechanism. During the
encoding and decoding of signals, there are many possible
error correction algorithm methods. In this project, our
researchers have been able to parametrize this process and
formulate novel optimization models to secure transmitted
signal accuracy in noisy environments. Several optimization
methods have been developed to directly improve bit error
rates and shorten the number of required iterations in the
error correction process. The general models we have
developed are highly applicable to a wide variety of
environments and functions including optical and wireless

In addition, we are cooperating with leading chain convenience
store 7-Eleven to study and predict consumer behavior.
Statistical data mining techniques will be used to
discover relationships between product variety, sale/
marketing strategies, the weather, and consumer behavior.
Based on advanced time series analysis techniques and
historic transaction records, a new sales strategy will be
developed based on the data, to help management
formulate the best operation plan.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 27

Department of

Applied Physics

AP proactively collaborates with industry, turning their research outputs into commercial
products and immediate applications.

Collaboration with Industry

• Dr X.M. Zhang, with the support of Huawei, researched
butterfly-packaged tunable lasers for coherent
communication applications. The prototype device’s
performance has surpassed currently available products
in terms of linewidth, fiber-coupled output power,
wavelength tuning range, compactness and response
time. Two Chinese patents have been issued for this work.

• Dr C.W. Ong has been contracted to research near ambi-
ent-temperature methane sensors based on nanocluster
and ultrathin metal oxide films, to achieve short response
time, high stability and reliability CH4 sensors for safety
and protection applications.

• Dr C.L. Mak, in collaboration with the Wilson Acoustics
Limited and through the support of the Innovative
Technology Fund, has conducted research on novel
orthogonal resilient materials for acoustic damper
applications. The new material permits targeted
absorption of vibration modes along different directions
using the same mass blocks, allowing the design of more
compact acoustic dampers for railtrack silencing.

Butterfly-packaged tunable laser devices developed by Dr X.M. Zhang

AP has awarded Innovation and Technology Funds for conducting application-oriented
research studies, with great potential for commercial and product development.

ITF projects with AP colleagues as PI

• Prof. Jiyan Dai’s ‘High-frequency Phase Array Medical
Ultrasound Transducer for Small Animal and Eye Imaging’.

• Prof. Jianhua Hao’s ‘Development of Upconversion
Luminescence Nanoprobes for Ultrasensitive and
Rapid Detection of Influenza Virus’.

• Dr Biao Zhang’s ‘Development of High-performance,
Low-cost Na-Ion Batteries’.

Rail damper with orthogonal resilient absorber, showing anisotropic absorption
properties developed by Dr C.L. Mak

28 Research at FAST

Our Research Collaboration with Industry

Institute of

Textiles and Clothing

ITC collaborates with industry to conduct high impact research through innovative design
and technology.

AI Applications in Fashion Retailing: Junichi Arai’s Textile Anthology Exhibition
an ITC - Alibaba Group Collaboration
ITC and the Centre for Heritage Arts & Textile by MILL6
ITC is collaborating with the Alibaba Group’s Vision and Beauty Foundation presented TECHSTYLE Series 2.0: the second
Team, specializing in vision intelligence and applications, to edition of the annual project to explore new meaning,
establish the first-of-its-kind “FashionAI Dataset”. The experience and innovation in textile arts. The exhibition
Fashion AI Dataset enables systematic analysis and labelling returned with the first retrospective exhibition in Hong
of fashion images based on “fashion attributes” (fashion Kong of internationally acclaimed textile artist Junichi Arai.
characteristics) and apparel “key points”. Fostering AI His representative textile and artworks exhibited at PolyU
applications in the fashion industry, Prof. Calvin Wong from 16 December 2017 to 26 January 2018. The astonishing
leads a PolyU research team working closely with Alibaba array of beautiful fabrics honoured the lifelong efforts and
to develop the “FashionAI Dataset” to solve two fundamental achievements of Junichi Arai. The exhibition also reviewed
problems of the deep learning algorithm: “apparel key points the course of Arai’s designs, and demonstrated the artists
detection” and “attribute recognition”. This revolutionary Dataset unique design ideals with several different forms of textiles
developing machine learning can greatly facilitate and clothing. Arai shed new light on textile art from his
understanding fashion images and related algorithm unique perspective with a view to providing possibilities
design. By integrating fashion knowledge and machine for exploring new innovations in clothing and textile art for
learning formulation, the Dataset will enable machines to better the future.
understand fashion, expanding fashion retail horizons
through the application of AI. It will enhance online fashion
image search accuracy, boost the effectiveness of
cross-selling and up-selling as well as create innovative and
unique buying experiences through facilitating targeted
customization of online shopping platforms.

The exhibition showed how
Junichi Arai’s vision of textiles
crossed boundaries between
craft and technology, design
and art. It promoted the joint
development of the textile and
clothing industry in China and

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 29

30 Research at FAST

5 Our Research Platforms


Department of

Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

State Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology Food Safety and Technology Research Centre
and Drug Discovery
Prof. Wing-tak Wong and Prof. M.S. Wong lead research
Prof. Kwok-yin Wong leads research teams involved in: teams involved in:
• Developing chiral synthesis catalysts licensed to

industries in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas • Identifying health risks and hazards
• Facilitating functional food development
• Determining the Beclin 1 protein related to autophagy • Developing innovative technology
and tumour development, and publishing the results • Enhancing public awareness on health and nutrition
in Adv. Mater., Nano Energy and Nat. Comm • Promoting health education and professional development

State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and
Molecular Pharmacology (Incubation)

Prof. Wing-tak Wong leads research teams involved in:
• Developing research platform on TCM osteoporosis


• Conducting osteoporosis study

Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Food Biological Lo Ka Chung Centre for Natural Anti-Cancer
Safety Control Drug Development

Prof. Sheng Chen leads research teams involved in: Prof. Thomas Y. C. Leung leads research teams involved in:
• Identifying high-risk food and exploring counter • Developing novel anti-cancer drug BCT-100 and BCA-PEG20
• Developing anti-cancer small molecule drugs
measures • Identifying nanocarriers for drug delivery
• Advancing food safety standards and research-based

quality assurance

Henry Cheng Research Laboratory for Drug

and high performance liquid chromatography machine.

Core Facilities and Databases

• University Research Facility in Life Sciences (ULS)
• University Research Facility in Chemical and Environmental

Analysis (UCEA)
• Hong Kong First Breast Milk Nutrition Database

32 Research at FAST

Our Research Platforms

Department of

Applied Mathematics

The AMSS-PolyU Joint Research Institute for The PolyU-HKBU-SDU Joint Research Center
Engineering and Management Mathematics on Financial Mathematics

The AMSS-PolyU Joint Research Institute (JRI) for The Joint Research Center (JRC) aims at promoting research
Engineering and Management Mathematics was collaboration on Financial Mathematics among PolyU,  Hong
established in 2005 in collaboration with the Academy of Kong Baptist University (HKBU)  and  Shandong University
Mathematics and Systems Science (AMSS) of the Chinese (SDU) researchers. Here we regularly host conferences and
Academy of Sciences. Corresponding offices have been workshops on financial mathematics.
founded in Beijing and Hong Kong.

JRI has organized over 80 research events including
distinguished lectures, seminar, workshops and conferences.

Workshop on Applied Mathematics with Financial Applications (3 Feb 2018)

In 2015, AMA and AMSS jointly offered a Post-doctoral University Research Facility in Big Data Analytics
Fellowship Scheme to enhance collaboration between AMSS
& AMA. Dozens of Postdoctoral Fellows are working on Managed by big data experts from AMA, Department of
research projects co-hosted by researchers in AMSS & PolyU. Computing and representatives from other disciplines, PolyU
establishes the University Research Facility in Big Data
Research collaboration (2005 – 2017) Number/Quantity Analytics (UBDA) on 8 May 2018, the first university-wide
research facility in big data analytics among universities in
Joint research papers with 29 Hong Kong. UBDA will provide consultancy service and
co-authors from AMSS 11 technical support to PolyU research community and industry
partners, assisting them to develop innovative solutions to
Postdoctoral Fellows supported research problems and application challenges by capitalizing
by AMSS (partially) on the use of models, algorithms and platforms for big data
analytics and processing.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 33

Department of

Applied Physics

State-of-the-art Facilities The UMF

To facilitate cutting-edge research on multiple fronts such as Many of AP’s research activities have made use of the
ultrafast spectroscopy, energy harvesting and storage, optical facilities in the University Research Facility in Materials
materials and device characterization, electron microscopy, Characterization and Device Fabrication (UMF). Established
and many others, AP has purchased (with PolyU’s generous in 2014, our UMF provides a gateway to world-class research
financial support) over HK$24M of major equipment. New in the fields of materials characterization and device
facilities include: fabrication. The UMF’s major facilities include:

• FTIR Spectrometer with IR Microscope System • Over 600 m2 of floor space and up to class-100 Cleanroom,
for device fabrication, processing (including lithographic
• Physical Property Measurement System processes, thin film deposition and device etching) and
• AFM-based Near-field SNOM System
• The Electron Microscopy Centre, with state-of-the-art
• Photovoltaic Characterization System scanning transmission electron microscopes and a
dual-beam focused ion beam microscope.
• Packaging and Testing System for Batteries and
Supercapacitors • The Materials Research Centre, with facilities for materials
synthesis (including Furnaces and thin film deposition
• Upgrades of Transmission Electron Microscope and systems) and characterization (including AFM, XRD,
Focused Ion Beam Microscope Systems SEM, etc.).

All UMF facilities are open to PolyU full-time staff and
associated researchers including graduate students and
assistants working in various fields of materials science
and engineering.

Quantum Design Physical
Property Measurement

Class-100 Cleanroom area for photolithography and nanoimprinting

NT-MDT AFM-based SNOM Field Emission Electron Microscope STEM (JEOL Model JEM-2100F)
Microscope Module

34 Research at FAST

Our Research Platforms

Institute of

Textiles and Clothing

Analytical Laboratory Material Synthesis & Processing Laboratory

Our analytical laboratory is equipped with sophisticated Our material synthesis and processing laboratory is
analytical instruments, including: equipped with diverse state-of-the-art laboratory instruments
and equipment including:
• High Performance Liquid Chromatography equipment
• Gas Chromatography/Mass Selective Detector • Atmospheric Plasma
• Light Fastness Machine • Differential Scanning Calorimet
• Toxicity Analyser • Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer
• Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer • Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectrometer
• Thermo Mechanical Analyser • Gel Permeation Chromatography
• Thermo Gravimetric Analyser • Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer
• Differential Scanning Calorimeter • High Performance Liquid Chromatography
• Particle Size Analyzer
• UV/Visible Spectrometer
• Zeta-Potential Analyzer

for material synthesis, material characterization, and studying
material properties.

Our instruments are all computerized and can efficiently
handle copious work on the characterization, evaluation and
analysis of:

• Water quality

• Toxicity

• Textile fibre and fabric structure

• Dyes and finishing agent properties

Fashion & Textiles Resource Centre Walter™ Sweating Manikin Laboratory

Our Fashion & Textiles Resource Centre offers expanded access The Walter™ Sweating Manikin Laboratory
to comprehensive fashion information in many different formats. is equipped with a climatic chamber
We store and enable easy access to extensive data for textiles enabling garment testing for total thermal
and fashion products, supplying historical, current, technical, insulation and water vapour resistance.
legal and aesthetic support for a vast range of users in the We can test:
clothing industry.
• temperatures between 10°C - 40°C

• relative humidity between 30% - 80%

• wind speeds between 0.3m/s - 5.0m/s

for complete and thorough climate testing.

We seek to inspire through hosting an open forum for dialogue
with the larger design community as well as regular public
exhibitions at the Fashion Gallery, special fashion events and
exploiting many other platforms to showcase creativity.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 35

36 Research at FAST

6 Our Researchers


Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Dr CHAN Kin Fai

Research Assistant Professor

Phone Number (852) 3400 8684
Education [email protected]

Research Interests Ph.D. The Chinese University of Hong Kong

ORCiD B.Sc. Hong Kong Baptist University
H-index Drug Discovery, Anti-cancer Drug, Antimicrobials, Organic Synthesis,
Sum of the Times Cited
Medicinal Chemistry





Awards Publications (selected)

•• Long Service Award 2018 •• Chan, K.-F.; Sun, N.; Yan, S.-C.; Wong, I. L. K.; Lui,
H.-K.; Cheung, K.-C.; Yuan, J.; Chan, F.-Y.; Zheng,
•• Outstanding Professional Services Awards Technology Z.; Chan, E. W. C.; Chen, S.; Leung, Y.-C.; Chan, T.
Transfer Award 2015 H.; Wong, K.-Y. Efficient Synthesis of Amine-Linked
2,4,6-Trisubstituted Pyrimidines as a New Class
•• Faculty/School Awards for Outstanding Performance/ of Bacterial FtsZ Inhibitors. ACS Omega 2017, 2,
Achievement 2013 7281- 7292.

•• Gold Medal and Special Award from the Romanian •• Pan, X.; He, Y.; Chen, T.; Chan, K.-F.; Zhao, Y., Modi-
Delegation at the 41st International Exhibition of fied Peni ci l l i n Mol ecul e w i th C arbapenem-Like
Inventions of Geneva 2013 Stereochemistry Specifically Inhibits Class C
ß- Lactamases. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Patents (selected) 2017, 61 (12), e01288-17.

•• Wong, K. Y.; Chan, T. H.; Chan, K. F.; Synthesis of •• Yan, C. S. W.; Wong, I. L. K.; Chan, K.-F.; Kan, J.
pyrimidines for treatment of bacterial infections. WO W. Y.; Chong, T. C.; Law, M. C.; Zhao, Y.; Chan, S.
2017175045 A1 2017 W.; Chan, T. H.; Chow, L. M. C. A new class of safe,
potent and specific P-gp modulator: flavonoid dimer
•• Wong, K. Y.; Chan, T. H.; Chan, K. F.; Chen, S.; Lui, FD18 reverses P-gp-mediated multidrug resistance
H. K.; Kan, J. W. Y.; Chiou, J. C.; Yap, H. K. in human breast xenograft in vivo. Molecular
3-aminobenzamide derivative serving as ß-lactam Pharmaceutics 2015, 12, 3507-3517.
auxiliary antibiotics, preparation method and use
thereof. WO 2016/037573 A1 2016 •• Chiou, J.; Wan, S. B.; Chan, K.-F.; So, P. K.; He,
D.; Chan, E. W. C.; Chan, T. H.; Wong, K. Y.; Tao,
•• Chow, L. M. C.; Chan, T. H.; Chan, K. F.; Wong, I. L. J.; Chen, S. Ebselen as a potent covalent inhibitor
K.; Kan, W. Y. Synthesis and use of amine-containing of New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase (NDM-1). Chem.
flavonoids as potent anti-leishmanial agents. Pub. Commun., 2015, 51, 9543-9546.
No.: US 2015/0239870 Al; 2015
•• Sun, N.; Chan, F.-Y.; Lu, Y.-J.; Neves, M. A. C.; Lui,
•• Chow, L. M. C.; Chan, T. H.; Chan, K. F.; Wong, I. L. H.-K.; Wang, Y.; Chow, K.-Y.; Chan, K.-F.; Yan, S.- C.;
K.; Law, M. C. Alkyne-, azide and triazole-containing Leung, Y.-C.; Abagyan, R.; Chan, T.-H.; Wong, K.- Y.
flavonoids as modulators for multidrug resistance in Rational Design of Berberine-Based FtsZ Inhibitors
cancers. Pub. No.: US 2015/0011513 A1; 2015 with Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Activity PLoS
One 2014, 9, e97514/1-e97514/10.
•• Chan, T.-H.; Chow, L. M. C.; Chan, K. F.; Wong, I.
L. K. Flavonoid dimers and their use. Pub. No.: US •• Chan, K.-F.; Wong, I. L. K.; Kan, J. W. Y.; Yan, C.
2013/0045935 A1; 2013 S. W.; Chow, L. M. C.; Chan, T. H., Amine Linked
Flavonoid Dimers as Modulators for P-Glycoprotein-
Based Multidrug Resistance: Structure — Activity
Relationship and Mechanism of Modulation Journal
of Medicinal Chemistry 2012, 55, 1999-2014.

38 Research at FAST

Research Overview Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology
Synthesis and Functional Optimization of Novel FtsZ Inhibitors as Potent Efficacy Booster Agents for
Anti-MRSA ß-Lactam Antibiotics

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes a wide scope of human infections that range from mild skin
diseases to potentially fatal pneumonia. On the basis of recent findings reported in the literature and preliminary data generated
in our laboratory, we plan to devise a new anti-MRSA approach by generating a novel series of inhibitors that target the
bacterial cell division protein FtsZ, with potential synergistic effects on suppression of bacterial cell division activities when
orally co-administered with ß-lactam antibiotics. This work aims at optimizing the inhibitory functions and bioavailability of FtsZ
inhibitors through structural modification of specific lead compounds generated in our preliminary works. The feasibility of
administering such inhibitors and ß-lactam antibiotics in combination to revitalize the antimicrobial effects of commonly
used drug on clinically resistant organisms will be assessed, using MRSA as the test organism, followed by comprehensive
evaluation of the cytotoxicity, resistance induction potential and pharmacokinetic properties of selected compounds.
Deliverables of this project shall validate the feasibility of a new antimicrobial concept in which new agents that inhibit vital
cellular functions in bacteria may restore antimicrobial properties of conventional antibiotics or even confer novel antimicrobial
and anti-resistance effects.

Chemical and Biological Studies of Flavonoid Dimers as Novel Anti-virulence Agents Against
Community-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Bacterial resistance to antimicrobials is a growing problem worldwide, especially for highly virulent community- associated me-
thicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). Attenuating CA-MRSA crucial virulence determinants by
targeting toxin export system, namely phenol-soluble modulins transporter (Pmt), has emerged as a promising approach to
combat bacterial infection. Pmt is a membrane bound ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter with two separate mem-
brane parts and two separate ATPases. These two ATPases are peripherally located at the cytoplasmic face of the membrane,
bind adenosine-triphosphate (ATP), and couple ATP hydrolysis to facilitate toxin export. Pmt is highly conserved among the
staphylococcal species and is mainly responsible for the export of all phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs). PSMs are major
cytolytic peptide toxins with multiple crucial roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis. More importantly, PSMs production in the
absence of Pmt leads to not only reduced pathogenesis but also substantial bacterial growth defects. Several flavonoids have
been showed to significantly decrease hemolysis of human red blood cells by S. aureus. However, there is currently no report on
Pmt inhibition by using small molecules. The purpose of this research is to design and synthesize novel bivalent ligands as well
as examine their Pmt inhibition activity in term of selectivity, potency and safety in vitro. Promising candidates will be selected
for mechanistic study of Pmt inhibition. Combination study with currently used antibiotics will be investigated to explore
potential synergism. This study will provide us fundamental understanding of the mechanism how Pmt functions, and may lead
to potential therapeutic agents that can treat CA-MRSA infection.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 39

Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Prof. CHEN Sheng


Phone Number (852) 3400 8795
Email [email protected]
Education Ph.D. University of Maryland at College Park
M.P.V.M. China Agriculture University
Research Interests D.V.M. China Agriculture University
Food Biological Safety, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Antimicrobial Resistance,
ORCiD Microbiota and Metagenomics, Novel Antibiotic Development
Publication 0000-0003-3526-7808
H-index 88
Sum of the Times Cited 22

Honours (selected) •• Wong MHY, Shum HP, Chen JHK, Man MY, Wu A,
Chan EW, Yuen KY, Chen S*. Emergence of
•• Member of Ad Hoc Working Group on Microbial carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent Klebsiella
Guideline for Ready To Eat Food, Food Safety Center, pneumoniae. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 1.
Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, pii: S1473-3099(17)30629-1.
Hong Kong since 2012
•• Gu D, Dong N, Zheng Z, Lin D, Huang M, Wang L,
•• Member of Shenzhen Expert Committee on Chan EW, Shu L, Yu J, Zhang R, Chen S*. A fatal
Pharmacology and Biotechnology, Shenzhen, China outbreak of ST11 carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent
since 2012 Klebsiella pneumoniae in a Chinese hospital: a
molecular epidemiological study. Lancet Infect Dis.
Patents (selected) 2017 Aug 29. pii: S1473-3099(17)30489-9.

•• Chen, S. Engineering botulinum neurotoxin with •• Zhang R, Chan EWC, Zhou HW, Chen S*. Prevalence
elevated activity. US patent provisional No. 61868560. and Genetic Characteristics of Carbapenem-resistant
PCT/CN2014/084725, 2015 Enterobacteriaceae Strains in China. Lancet Infect
Dis. 2017, Mar;17(3):256-257.
•• Chen, S.; Barbieri J.T. Engineering Botulinum
Neurotoxin. US Patent Serial No. 61/169,031, (2011). •• Zhang R, Liu LZ, Zhou HW, Chan EWC, Li JP, Fang
EU Patent Serial No. 20120039941 (2012), licensed Y, Li Y, Liao K, Chen S*. Nationwide Surveillance
by Ipsen Bioinovations, France in 2012 of Clinical Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
(CRE) Strains in China. EBioMedicine 2017 May;
Book Chapters (selected) 19:98-106.

•• Chen, S., Barbieri, J.T. Light Chains of the Botulinum •• Jin K, Sam IH, Po KH, Lin D, Ghazvini Zadeh EH,
neurotoxins. Neurotoxin. Edited by Keith Foster, Chen S*, Yuan Y*, Li X*. Total synthesis of teixobac-
Springer, CO, UK, 2013. tin. Nature communications 2016; 7: 12394.

•• Chen, S*. Clostridial Neurotoxins as therapeutics. •• Zhang R., Huang YL., Chan EWC., Zhou HW., Chen S.*.
Microbial Toxins-Genetics, Molecular Biology and Dissemination of the mcr-1 colistin resistance gene.
Novel Applications. Edited by Thomas Proft, The Lancet Infect Dis. March 2016 Volume 16, No. 3,
Horizon Scientific Press, UK, 2013. p291–292.

Publications (selected) •• Chen S.; Barbieri, J.T. (2009) Engineering Botulinum
Neurotoxin to extend therapeutic intervention. Proc
•• Li RC, Xie MM, Dong N, Lin DC, Yang XM, Wong Natl Acad Sci U S A. V106(23): 9180-84.
MHY, Chan EWC, Chen S*. Efficient generation of
complete sequences of MDR-encoding plasmids by •• White D.G., Zhao S., Sudler S., Ayers S., Friedman
rapid assembly of MinION barcoding sequencing S., Chen S., McDermott P.F., McDermott S., Wagner
data. Gigascience, 2018 Mar 1;7(3):1-9. D.D., Meng J. (2001). The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant
Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats, New Engl. J.
•• Chen K, Chan EW, Xie M, Ye L, Dong N, Chen S*. Med. 18(345)1147-54.
Widespread distribution of mcr-1-bearing bacteria
in the ecosystem, 2015 to 2016. Euro Surveill. 2017
Sep;22(39). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.

40 Research at FAST

Research Overview Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Outstanding Achievement in Education

Research in Prof. Chen’s group focuses on addressing fundamental microbiological issues related to food biological safety,
bacterial antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenesis using multiple disciplinary approaches with an ultimate goal to
develop novel antibacterial therapies to combat bacterial infections and promote human health.

Food Biological Safety Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance

•• Establishment of food safety early warning system • Bacterial resistance development in animal GI tract

•• Development of various platforms for foodborne • Transmission of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and
pathogen rapid detection mobile elements

•• Bridging Food and human health – human microbiota • Structure function characterization of ß-lactamases

Materials (Basel). 2017 May 31;10(6). Front Microbiol. 2016,7:44; The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2016 Mar;16(3):291-2; 2017, Mar;
Scientific Reports. 2015,5:14754; Sensors and Actuators B, 2015, 220, 17(3):256-257; Gigascience. 2018 Mar 1;7(3):1-9. Euro Surveill. 2017 Sep;
131; Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2015, 59(7):4106-11; 22(39). EBioMedicine. 2017 May;19:98-106.Antimicrob Agents Chemother
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 2015, 59(6):3593-5; Biosensors 2016, 60:3232-3235; 2016, 61: 00859-16; 2016, 60(4):2450-5; 2016,60(3):1939-42;
& bioelectronics 2014, 65C:238-244; PLoS One. 2014;9(12):e114124; 2015,60(1):709-11; 2015,60(2):982-9;2015,59(7):4106-11; 2015,59(10):5976-
Food microbiology 2014, 43:1-4; Sensors and Actuators B, 2015, 220, 83; 2015, 59(8):5026-8; 2015, 59(7):4106-11; 2015, 59(6):3290-7;2015,
131; J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 6544-6550. 59(2):1381-1383; 2015, 59(6):3582-4; 2015, 59(6):3593-5; 2014, 58(7):3752-
3756; 2014,58:5372-5378;2014,58:3752-3756.2013, 57(9): 4599-601; 2013,
57(1):658-60; 2012, 56(7):4026-8.

Bacterial Pathogenesis Novel Antibacterial Therapy Development

•• Comparative genomics to identify novel virulence factors • Inhibitors targeting bacterial resistance mechanisms
such as carbapenemases
•• Identification and characterization of novel virulence
factors • Inhibitors targeting bacterial virulence and tolerance
such as bacterial two component systems
•• Structure function characterization of bacterial toxins

The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2017 Nov 1. pii: S1473-3099(17)30629-1; Nat Commun. 2016 Aug 3;7:12394.Bioorg Med Chem. 2018 Mar 1;26(5):1062-
2017 Aug 29. pii: S1473-3099(17)30489-9; 2017 Nov 1. pii: S1473- 1068. Bioorg Med Chem. 2017 Sep 15;25(18):4990-4995.Chem Comm. May
3099(17)30628-X. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009,V106(23): 9180-84; 26;51(46):9543-6; Scientific Reports 2015;5:16981; Chemical biology & drug
Scientific Reports 2016;6:19875; 2015;5:16981; 2015, Sep 24;5:14449; design 2014, 84(6):685-696.
J. Biol. Chem. 2013, 288(39):27881-7; 2011, 286(17):15067-72; 2008,
283(30):21153-9; 2007, 282(35) 25540-47; 2007, 282 (13) 9621-7; 2006,
281(16) 10906-11; Biochemical Journal. 2010, 433(2):277-84; Biochemistry.
2012, 51:3941-3947.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 41

Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Dr CHIOU Jiachi Amber

Assistant Professor

Phone Number (852) 3400 8664
Education [email protected]

Research Interests Ph.D. Rutgers University
Publication M.Sc. National Taiwan University
Sum of the Times Cited B.Sc. National Taiwan University

Bacterial Toxins, Enzymes, Probiotics, Gut Microbiome





Awards and Honours •• Chiou JC, Wan SB, Chan KF, So PK, He DD, Chan
WC, Chan TH, Wong KY, Tao J, Chen S (2015). Ebselen
•• Travel Award, Rutgers University 2010 (USA) as a potent covalent inhibitor for New Delhi Metallo
ß-lactamases (NDM-1). Chem Commun (Camb).
•• Travel Fellowship, RNA Society 2010 51(46): 9543-9546.

•• Travel Fellowship, National Taiwan University 2004 •• Chiou JC, Li RC and Chen S (2015). CARB-17 family
of ß-lactamases mediated intrinsic resistance to
•• Undergraduate Fellowships, National Science Council penicillins in Vibrio parahaemolyticus. AAC. 59(6):
2001-2002 (Taiwan) 3593-3595.

Patent (selected) •• Chiou J, Leung TY, Chen S (2014). Molecular Mecha-
nisms of Substrate Recognition and Specificity of New
•• Synthesis and use of 3-aminobenzamide derivatives Delhi Metallo-ß-Lactamase. AAC. 58(9): 5372-5378.
as orally available ß-lactam antibiotic adjuvants
for treatment of methicillin-resistance staphylococcal •• Chiou JC, Li XP, Remacha M, Ballesta JP, Tumer NE
infection. Pending approval (2011). Shiga toxin 1 is more dependent on the P
proteins of the ribosomal stalk for depurination activity
Publications (selected) than Shiga toxin 2. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 43(12):
•• He DD#, Chiou, JC#, Zeng, Z., Chan, E.W.-C., Liu,
J.-H., Chen, S. (2016) Comparative characterization •• Li XP, Chiou J, Remacha M, Ballesta JP, Tumer NE
of CTX-M-64 and CTX-M-14 provides insights into (2009). A two-step binding model proposed for the
the structure and catalytic activity of the CTX-M class electrostatic interactions of ricin A chain with
of enzymes. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 60(10): ribosomes. Biochemistry. 48(18): 3853-3863.
•• Chiou JC, Li XP, Remacha M, Ballesta JP, Tumer NE
•• Liu TH, Chiou J, Tsai TY. (2016) Effects of (2008). The ribosomal stalk is required for ribosome
Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10-fermented soymilk binding, depurination of the rRNA and cytotoxicity of
on deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt -induced ricin A chain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol
hypertension and associated dementia in rats. Microbiol. 70(6): 1441-1452.
Nutrients. 8(5), pii: E260.

•• Li RC, Chiou JC, Chan WC, Chen S. A novel PCR- based
approach for accurate identification of Vibrio
parahaemolyticus. (2016) Frontier Microbiology 7:44.
eCollection 2016.

•• He DD*, Chiou JC*, Zeng ZL, Liu LP, Chen XJ, Zhen
L, Chan WC, Liu JH, Chen S (2015). Residues distal
to the active site contribute to enhanced catalytic
activity of variant and hybrid ß-lactamases derived
from CTX-M-14 and -15. AAC. 59(10): 5976-5983.
*contribute to the paper equally

42 Research at FAST

Research Overview Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology
Roles of Probiotics in the Gut Microbiota

• Functional characterization of probiotic bacteria with beneficial effects
• Mechanistic study of anti-oxidative, antibacterial and antihypertensive ability of probiotics
• Impact of diet and environmental factors on the gut microbiota of breast-fed and formula-fed infants in Hong Kong

Colonization of Lactobacillus on epithelial cells

Characterization of Metallo ß-Lactamases

• Structural and Functional study of ß-lactamases
• Understanding the mechanisms governing substrate specificity and catalytic efficiency:

Varied L substrate specificities e.g. varied substrate specificities between different subclasses of metallo ß-
• Design and explore for structure tailor-made inhibitors

AAC 2014, 58(9), 5372-5378 Chem Biol Drug Des 2014, 84(6), 685-696; Chem Commun 2015,
AAC 2015, 59(6), 3593-3595 51(46), 9543-9546
AAC 2015, 59(10), 5976-5983

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 43

Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Prof. CHOW Ming Cheung Larry


Phone Number (852) 3400 8662
Email [email protected]
Education Sc.D. Harvard University
B.Sc. Imperial College London
Research Interests Molecular Mechanism of Drug Resistance in Cancer and Parasites,
Early Phase Design of Small Molecules for Therapeutic Applications
ORCiD 0000-0002-9222-8322
Publication 52
H-index 21
Sum of the Times Cited 1343

Awards and Honours (selected) •• Ashok P, Chander S, Chow LMC, Wong ILK, Singh
RP, Jha PN, Sankaranarayanan M. Synthesis and
•• Technology Transfer Award (PolyU), 2016 in-vitro anti-leishmanial activity of (4-arylpiperazin-
1-yl)(1-(thiophen-2-yl)-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indol-3 yl)
•• President’s awards for Excellent Performance/ methanone derivatives. Bioorganic Chemistry.
Achievement (2012/13) in Research (Team) category: 2017;70:100-6.
Faculty Award, 2013
•• Chang KP, Kolli BK, Batchu RB, Chen HW,
•• Special Award and Gold Medal in the Geneva Chow LMC, Elliott R, et al. New “light” for one-world
Innovation Exhibition, 2013 approach toward safe and effective control of
perspectives. Parasites and Vectors. 2016;9(1).
Patents (selected)
•• Yan SW, K. WIL, Chan KF, Kan JW, Chong TC,
•• “Synthesis & Use of Amine Contain. Flavonoids Law MC, Zhoa Y, Chan SW, Chan TH, Chow LMC.
as Potent Anti-leishmanial Agents”, 2015 A new class of safe, potent and specific P-gp
modulator: flavonoid dimer FD18 reverses
•• “Alkyne-, azide- and triazole-containing flavonoids P-gp-mediated multidrug resistance in human
as modulators for multidrug resistance in cancers”, breast xenograft in vivo Mol Pharmaceut (2015)
2012 12(10), pp 3507-3517.

•• “Flavonoid dimers and their use”, 2010 •• Wong ILK, Wang B-C, Yuan J, Duan L-X, Liu Z, Liu
T, Li X-M, Hu X, Zhang X-Y, Jiang T, Wan S-B and
•• “Flavonoid dimers and methods of making and Chow LMC “Potent and Nontoxic Chemosensitizer
using such”, 2007 of P-glycoprotein-mediated Multidrug Resistance
in Cancer: Synthesis and Evaluation of Methylated
Publications (selected) Epigallocatechin, Gallocatechin and Dihydromyricetin
Derivatives” (2015) J Med Chem 11;58(11) pp 4529-49.
•• Yang C, Wong ILK, Peng K, Liu Z, Wang P,
Jiang T, Jiang T, Chow LMC, Wan SB. Extending •• Wong ILK, Chan KF, Chen Y-F, Chan TH and Chow LMC
the structure−activity relationship study of marine In vitro and in vivo efficacy of novel flavonoid dimers
natural ningalin B analogues as P-glycoprotein against cutaneous leishmaniasis Antimicrob Agents
inhibitors. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Chemother (2014) 58(6):3379-3388.
•• Chan KF, Wong ILK, Kan JWY, Yan CSW, Chow LMC,
•• Dury L, Nasr R, Lorendeau D, Comsa E, Falson P, Chan TH Amine linked Flavonoid Dimers as
Di Pietro A, Baubichon-Cortay H, Wong I, Zhu X, Modulators for P-glycoprotein-based Multidrug
Chan KF, Chan TH, Chow LMC. Flavonoid dimers Resistance: Structure-Activity Relationship and
are highly potent killers of multidrug resistant Mechanism of Modulation J. Med Chem (2012)
cancer cells overexpressing MRP1. Biochemical 55:1999-2014.
Pharmacology. 2017;124:10-8.

44 Research at FAST

Research Overview Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

One of the resistance mechanisms is the over-expression of membrane protein, permeability-glycoprotein (P-gp), which pumps
structurally-diverse compounds out of cancer cells, resulting in lowered intracellular drug accumulation. Multidrug resistance
(MDR) is a major problem in cancer chemotherapy and bacterial infections.
We demonstrated that synthetic flavonoid dimers increase drug retention and enhance chemosensitivity in P-gp over- expressed
human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

FD18 can reverse paclitaxel resistance in in vivo breast cancer xenograft model. Tumour volume is reduced by 50% compared to paclitaxel alone.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 45

Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Dr FANG Kar Hei James

Assistant Professor

Phone Number (852) 3400 8703
Email [email protected]
Education Postdoc. Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Ph.D. University of Queensland
Research Interests M.Phil. City University of Hong Kong
ORCiD B.Sc.. University of Plymouth
Publication Marine Ecology, Toxicology, and Pollution Monitoring
H-index 0000-0002-2969-7978
Sum of the Times Cited 20

Awards and Honours Publications (selected)

•• Chartered Biologist, Royal Society of Biology, United •• Fang JKH, Rooks CA, Krogness CM, Kutti T, Hoff-
Kingdom (2014) mann F, Bannister RJ (2018) Impact of particulate
sediment, bentonite and barite (oil-drilling waste) on
•• Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institute of Marine Research, net fluxes of oxygen and nitrogen in Arctic-boreal
Norway (2013) sponges. Environmental Pollution, in press.

•• Occupational (Scientific) Diver, AS2815 Nitrox, •• Fang JKH, Mason RAB, Schönberg CHL, Hoegh-Guld-
Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (2010) berg O, Dove S (2017) Studying interactions be-
tween excavating sponges and massive corals by
•• ISRS Graduate Fellowship, The International Society the use of hybrid cores. Marine Ecology 38, e12393.
for Reef Studies (2010)
•• Fang JKH, Schönberg CHL, Mello-Athayde MA,
•• Research Scholarship, The University of Queensland, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2014) Effects of ocean
Australia (2009) warming and acidification on the energy budget of
an excavating sponge. Global Change Biology 20,
•• Prize for Outstanding Presentation, The 5th International 1043−1054.
Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology,
Hong Kong (2007) •• Fang JKH, Mello-Athayde MA, Schönberg CHL, Kline
DI, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2013) Sponge
biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean
warming and acidification. Global Change Biology
19, 3581−3591.

•• Fang JKH, Wu RSS, Zheng GJ, Lam PKS, Shin PKS
(2010) Seasonality of bioaccumulation of trace organics
and lysosomal integrity in green-lipped mussel Perna
viridis. Science of the Total Environment 408,

46 Research at FAST

Research Overview Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Combining biological and chemical approaches, my laboratory investigates the interactions between marine ecosystems and
human activities including various types of pollution. Two examples are provided here:

Microplastics in Marine Environments and Seafood

Plastics are synthetic polymers and are indispensable in our daily life. Plastic waste often ends up in waterways and seas,
and can be fragmented to microplastics through ultraviolet degradation and mechanical abrasion. Increasing microplastics
in marine environments have raised a great concern due to the potential ingestion of these synthetic materials by marine
animals and subsequent bioaccumulation and biomagnification along food chains including seafood products. In this regard,
our research directions are to develop quantitative methods for assessing microplastics in environmental and biological
samples, to determine marine ecological impacts of microplastics, and to estimate human health risks of consuming
plastic-contaminated seafood.

Marine Carbonate Budgets under Environmental Change

Hard corals and other marine calcifiers build skeletons/shells of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). These skeletons/ shells
accrete to form carbonate communities, for example, coral reefs. Marine carbonate communities often
have high biodiversity to sustain seafood populations, and strong structural integrity to provide coastline protection
against wave action. This structural integrity is biologically maintained by the counterbalance between calcification (accretion
of CaCO3) and bioerosion (biological excavation or dissolution of CaCO3). Recent research suggests that bioerosion
can outweigh calcification under environmental change, for example, due to pollution and acidification, shifting many
carbonate communities into net erosional states. To assess the sustainability of marine carbonate budgets, our
research directions are to improve existing methods for quantifying calcification and bioerosion, and to investigate the
ecophysiological responses of marine calcifiers and bioeroders under different environmental conditions.
Figure (a) The massive coral Porites sp. is severely eroded at its base and is susceptible to physical damage (green arrowed);
(b) Fang’s experience in marine carbonate budget experiments using calcareous blocks (yellow arrowed; see (e)). Photographs
in (a) and (b) were taken on the southern Great Barrier Reef; (c) The SEM images of aragonite and (d) calcite, two crystal
forms of CaCO3 synthesised by Fang et al.; (e) A calcareous block used in the experiment in (b), (f) its micro-CT image and
(g) Its 3D-printed prototype using Accura 60. Micro-CT and 3D printing represent two key tools to quantify calcification and
bioerosion; (h) Point load strength test for the calcareous block. Point load is applied at the centre of the block (red arrowed)
to determine compressive strength.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University 47

Our Researchers

Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology

Prof. HAN Yifan


Phone Number (852) 3400 8743
Education [email protected]

Research Interests Ph.D. Medical College of Ohio

ORCiD M.S. Peking Union Medical College
H-index Neuropharmacological Research and Development of Novel
Sum of the Times Cited
Neuroprotective Agents including those isolated from Chinese

Medicinal Herbs





Honour (selected) Publications (selected)

•• Honorary Professor at Jinan University, China. 2013-2016 •• Guo BJ, Hu SQ, Zheng C, Wang H, Luo FF, Li H, Cui
W, Yang X, Cui GZ, Mak SH, Choi TC, Ma ED, Wang
Patents (selected) YQ, Lee SMY, Zhang ZJ, Han YF*. (2017) Substantial
protection against MPTP-associated Parkinson’s
•• “Uses of indole-ketones or indolidones as neuro-protective neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo by anti-cancer agent
drugs”. US Patent, US9486440 B2, 2016 SU4312 via activation of MEF2D and inhibition of
MAO-B. Neuropharmacology. 126:12-24.
•• “一种预防和治疗阿尔茨海默症的复合组合物及其应用”.
Chinese Patent, CN103989678 B, 2016 •• Hu SQ, Wang R, Cui W, Mak SH, Li G, Hu YJ, Lee
MY, Pang YP, Han YF*. (2015) Dimeric bis (heptyl)-
•• “吲哚酮類化合物在製備神經保護藥物中的應用”. Chinese Cognitin Blocks Alzheimer’s ß-Amyloid Neurotoxicity
Patent, CN201110327436.8, 2014 Via the Inhibition of Aß Fibrils Formation and
Disaggregation of Preformed Fibrils. CNS Neurosci
•• “他克林短鏈二聚體類化合物在製備治療神經退行性疾病 Ther. 21(12):953-61.
藥物中的應用”. Chinese Patent, CN2008 1 0142156.8,
2013 •• Chang L, Cui W, Yang Y, Xu SJ, Zhou WH, Fu HJ, Hu
SQ, Mak SH, Hu JW, Wang Q, Ma Victor PY, Choi CL,
•• “Heterodimers and methods of using them”. US Patent, Ma Edmond DL, Tao L, Pang YP, Michael J. Rowan,
7605265. 2009 Roger Anwyl, Han YF*, Wang QW. (2015) Protection
against ß-amyloid-induced synaptic and memory
•• “Dimeric Compounds”. US Patent, US6472408B1, 2002 impairments via altering ß-amyloid assembly by
bis(heptyl)-cognitin. Sci Rep. 5:10256.
•• “Dimeric Compounds”. Hong Kong Standard Patent,
HK1042291, 2002 •• Luo J, Li W, Zhao Y, Fu H, Ma DL, Tang J, Li C, Peoples
RW, Li F, Wang Q, Huang P, Xia J, Pang Y, Han YF*
Book Chapters (selected) (2010) Pathologically activated neuroprotection via
uncompetitive blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate
•• Cui W, Choi, Tony CL, Mak SH, Yu H, Hu SQ, Li WM, receptors with fast off-rate by novel multifunctional
Zuo Z, Han YF*.(2012) Bis(12)-hupyridone, a promising dimer Bis(propyl)-cognitin. J Biol Chem. 285(26):
multi-functional anti-Alzheimer’s dimer derived from 19947-58.
Chinese medicine. “Brain Disorders”, ISBN 979-953-
307-186-1, InTech, pp:152-174. •• Li WM, Pi R, Chan HH, Fu H, Lee NT, Tsang HW, Pu Y,
Chang DC, Li C, Luo J, Xiong K, Li Z, Xue H, Carlier
•• Li WM, Fu HJ, Youdim MBH, Pang YP and Han YF* (2010) PR, Pang Y, Tsim KW, Li M, Han YF*. (2005) Novel
One-compound-multi-targets at amyloid b cascade dimeric acetylcholinesterase inhibitor bis7-tacrine,
offered by bis(7)-Cognitin, a novel anti- Alzheimer’s but not donepezil, prevents glutamate-induced
dimer. “Brain Protection in Schizophrenia, Mood and neuronal apoptosis by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate
Cognitive Disorders”, ISBN: 978-90-481- 8552-8, Springer, receptors. J Biol Chem. 280(18): 18179-18188.

48 Research at FAST

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