The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Fighting fake Chinese Herbal Medicines

19th Jan, 2018
Recent years have seen the popularity of Chinese herbal medicines even outside China as an alternative to Western medicines. However, there are many fake or substandard Chinese medicine materials on the market, or claiming to be a medicine of a different origin and class. The Food Safety and Technology Research Centre (Centre) of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University now provides a practical solution to patients, Chinese medicine practitioners and the industry.

The Centre has a simple and reproducible method for authentication of Chinese medicines, including Ganoderma (known as Lingzhi in Chinese) and Gastrodiae Rhizoma (known as Tianma in Chinese). Special features and advantages of this method are as follows:

  1. Takes only 10 minutes to analyse a sample
  2. Applies high voltage to solvents-loaded samples to induce spray ionisation and generate corresponding mass spectra showing major active components in the samples
  3. Differentiates genuine and counterfeit species, wild and cultivated types as well as geographical origins
  4. Can apply to analyse other herbal medicines like Heshouwu and Wuweizi


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Posted 19th Jan, 2018
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6th Nov, 2017

Simulation model prepares cardiologists for surgeries

Open-heart surgery comes with known risks and complications. Nowadays, cardiac procedures can be performed with small incisions, not wide openings of the chest. Better still, is there a way for surgeons to repeat practice on the minimally invasive Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) before the operations are performed on patients? A made-in-Hong Kong innovation provides a positive answer to this question. Jointly developed by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, The TAVI simulation model brings good news to doctors and patients alike. Features and the associated benefits of the simulation model are as follows:
accommodates life-sized, 3D printed blood vessels and aortic valves based on patients’ computed tomography images
imitates human circulation in terms of fluid flow and temperature
equipped with a built-in rotatable camera and a screen for displaying real-time black-and-white images
advantages in surgical planning, clinical training and repeated trials before operations
improves clinical teamwork and shortens procedure time
no X-ray involved in the simulation, unlike traditional methods
better healthcare quality for patients