MOST celebrates innovative medical tech developed in Taiwan

A Wednesday press conference revealed the world's fastest white-blood cell filter, and a new allergen detection device

 MOST Germination Program Press Conference

MOST Germination Program Press Conference (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) held a press Conference on Wednesday, March 13, to announce the recent successes of researchers with the MOST “Germination Program” (研發成果萌芽計畫).

A team of researchers at Taiwan’s Chung Yuan Christian University (中原大學) working with MOST support have invented the world’s fastest and most effective white blood cell filtering device, which already achieved FDA approval for market in late 2018.

The head of the research team, Professor Chang Yong (張雍) of the Department of Chemical Engineering, says the device can effectively isolate and remove white blood cells from any blood sample. The device was also completely developed and manufactured in Taiwan, with Taiwan-made components.

Chang observes that since depleting white-blood cells is a necessary step in preparing blood for blood transfusion procedures, the new device is expected to drastically reduce transfusion time for patients.

According to CNA, the device is expected to hit the commercial market in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The MOST press conference also announced the development of another innovative piece of technology, a food allergen detection device, developed by researchers at National Central University (中央大學), led by Assistant Professor Chan-Han Huang (黃貞翰) of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering.

The device can reportedly use nanometer technology to detect the presence of certain allergens in less than two minutes. The technology could be crucial for the food safety of many who suffer from serious allergic reactions to certain substances like gluten, peanuts, eggs or milk.

Companies could also use the device to test for pesticides or growth hormones in food products, according to the report.

The MOST Germination Program was established to better integrate the private sector, government oversight and the country’s top academic institutions in key developing industries.