Winning Innovations at ITEX 2018

Two gold, three silver, three bronze - it was a clean sweep for Monash Malaysia researchers, as all eight inventions received awards at the annual ITEX 2018. Organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS), ITEX is an exhibition aimed to cultivate the ability to think critically - a quality separating innovators from followers.

Awards conferred to inventions were judged based on the following criteria: novelty; inventiveness; usefulness and application; presentation and demonstration; market and commercial potential; and environmental friendliness.

Gold Award

Green Approach: Capitalising Local Fungal Strain Penicillium Citrinum for Biofungicide Development - Associate Professor Adeline Ting Su Yien & Dr Cheow Yuen Lin (School of Science)

This project showcases the use of a locally-derived fungal strain for development as biopesticide. The researchers have isolated and identified the isolate as Penicullium citrinum which has tremendous potential as biopesticide, having (1) good compatibility  with host plant,  (2) strong  antifungal activities towards tropical pathogens, (3) produces antifungal compound citrinin, (4) promotes plant-growth and induces host-defense mechanisms, and (5) has demonstrated biocontrol activities in seedlings (oil palm). This isolate, or its compound citrinin, can also be further developed as biopesticide for sustainable management of major tropical diseases in Malaysia such as the Ganoderma rot of oil palm and Fusarium wilt of bananas.

Hydrogel-Based Biosensor for Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Hepatitis B Infection - Dr Ooi Chien Wei, Dr Lim Swee Lu, Professor Tey Beng Ti & Professor Chan Eng Seng (School of Engineering & Advanced Engineering Platform)

Claiming more than 686,000 human lives in 2013, Hepatitis B is the most prevalent type of viral hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Vaccination has proven effective in reducing the HBV infection globally. An early detection of HBV infection can dramatically lessen the HBV-related morbidity and mortality, and substantially reduce the overall cost of medical treatment. The diagnosis of HBV infection mainly relies on the detection of HBV antigens present in the patient’s bloodstream. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which is a diagnostic tool with the widespread clinical use, is laborious, expensive and time consuming. Thus, there is a need to develop a rapid and simpler point-of-care method for diagnosis of HBV serological markers. The development of a functionalised hydrogel that senses HBV serological marker by a volume change, is rapid, inexpensive, and highly specific.

Silver Award

Automated Non-Destructive Crack Detection for Aluminium Casting with High Precision - Dr Wang Xin, Dr Tan Ming Kwang, Dr Tan Boon Thong, Edward Boey Chia Ming, Terence Lee Yoong Foong & Eng Zi Jie (School of Engineering & Advanced Engineering Platform)

Aluminium casting has been widely used in the automotive industry in the manufacturing of cars. However, aluminium casted products are susceptible to defects. To ensure quality assurance and safety of aluminium casted materials, inspection of all safety critical parts is vital during manufacturing. The research team developed an effective method to detect surface cracks on aluminium casting using vibration method. The invention provides a non-contact method and apparatus to detect cracks/defects in cast-aluminium steering housing. The method comprising of the steps of vibrating an object to be measured, picking up the vibrations, converting the characteristic vibration of the steering housing to be measured into frequency domain, and detecting whether or not cracks/defects are present. It also provides a crack/defect detecting apparatus.

Lanctos 75TM for Mental Wellness - Professor Lekhsan bin Othman, Dr Mohmad Farooq Shaikh, Thaarvena Retinasamy, Brandon Kar Meng Choo & Dr Yatinesh Kumari (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences), Dr Zurina Hassan & Associate Professor Amin Malik Abdul Majid (Universiti Sains Malaysia)

Lanctos 75™ is a potent herbal supplement for neurodegenerative diseases and related cognitive dysfunction. Lanctos 75™ inhibits enzyme (AchE) that break down neurochemical which is important for learning and memory. Lanctos 75™ is a neuroprotective against beta amyloid and significantly improve memory status.

Collaborative Learning Ecosystem of Multi-Touch Tabletop Computers (in Smart Lab) - Associate Professor Arkendu Sen, Associate Professor Lakshmi Selvaratnam & Professor Dato’ Anuar Zaini (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences)

Practical teaching of a foundational  science such as human anatomy or biology within a packed  curriculum, with escalating student enrolments and acute shortage of interactive / active learning environments and specialist teachers prompted this design and development of a novel high-tech collaborative learning ecosystem of networked Lecturer and Student Multi-touch Tabletop computers (MTCs). This invention enables ‘active learning’ for mass student cohorts (up to 160 students) with integration of hands on practical skills through simultaneous group study and co-construction of knowledge using both physical learning resources and interactive digital media. This ecosystem was aimed to promote the reinforcement of knowledge, practical competencies  and 21st century  skills in learning  STEM+ subjects with the target of enhancing employbility of graduates in alignment with the Malaysian Education Blueprint  (2015-2025).

Bronze Award

Wearable Circadian Lux Sensor (WCLS) - Dr Vineetha Kalavally, Anas Mohamed & Hassan Maheedh Mohamed (School of Engineering, Advanced Engineering Platform & Intelligent Lighting Platform)

With the advent of artificial lighting technologies, LED-based lighting in particular, humans are exposed to lighting conditions that have not been encountered for most of human existence. The effects of this on the human body, with a particular emphasis on the circadian rhythm has come

to light only recently. According to recent research, shift workers, frequent flyers (across time zones), office workers and students with limited exposure to natural light are all likely to have compromised circadian rhythms, which can have far reaching negative impacts on their wellbeing

The invention, a wireless Bluetooth enabled sensor is designed to be worn for a period of 24 hours. It is a miniature spectrophotometer that has multiple functionalities. The core of which is to sample the spectrum of the ambient light at an interval set by the user for a period of time. The device calculates the portion of the light that affects the human circadian rhythm and outputs the data in the form of Circadian lux. Peripheral functionalities include quantifying the quality and spectral properties of the light.

DITTO (Deaf in Touch Today) - Associate Professor Uma Devi A/P M Palanisamy, Dr Sabrina Anne Jacob, Dr Amreeta Dhanoa & Elizabeth Chong Yie-Chuen (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences & Global Asia in the 21st Century (GA21) Platform), Reza Rosli & Gayathrie Deva (Leo Burnett/Arc WorldwideMalaysia) & Goh Soo Leng (Malaysian Federation of the Deaf)

There is a need for safe and effective communication between healthcare personnel and Deaf individuals. Currently the practice of written notes, simple signing, physical presence of interpreter/family has its limitations which includes misdiagnosis/interpretation, underutilisation of healthcare services by deaf individuals, frustration for both parties, medication errors, among many others. The invention is a mobile app which allows a hearing-impaired person to book the services of a Sign Language Interpreter (SLI) by appointment or on-demand.  The interpreter can then contact the user using a video calling service.  Different from existing solutions which requires significant investments in video conferencing technology, DITTO makes use of free video calling features of popular platforms such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Development of a Novel Integrated Platform for Halal Testing - Professor Sunil Kumar Lal (School of Science & Global Asia in the 21st Century (GA21) Platform)

In our modern times, large scale vaccine and processed food production involves rigorous biological and chemical processing thereby increasing the chances of exposure to various contaminating materials. In Islamic law, the categories of lawful and unlawful are defined as halal and haram, respectively. The use and/or contamination of haram substances during vaccine/food production thus remains a continuous concern among the Islamic Society. The goals of the invention tested the following:

1. To establish multiple molecular markers and run DNA-based multiplex testing assays for Halal compliance testing for injectable, food and drink items.

2. To establish and run well-integrated protein-based techniques for Halal compliance testing to detect trace quantities of gelatin from porcine sources in injectable, food and drink items.

Congratulations to all researchers!

Photo Gallery