Associate Professor Sibudjing Kawi's anti-coking catalyst idea wins an award at the 9th National Research Foundation POC call.

31 July 2013

NUS Engineering projects get Proof-of-Concept grants at NRF’s 9th call

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A “MAID” for helping post laryngectomy patients to restore their voice has won a grant of $250,000 at the 9 Proof-of-Concept (POC) Grant Call organised by the National Research Foundation (NRF). MAID which stands for “Measurement and Insertion Device” is being developed by a team at NUS Engineering, led by Dr Chui Chee Kong, Department of Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration with Dr David Lau, an ENT surgeon with Raffles Hospital.
The grant will give a leg-up to the team’s main objective to develop the device for first-in-humans trial. The team’s hypothesis was that a surgical device could be developed and used for TEP (TracheoEsophageal Puncture) as well as sizing and insertion of the voice prosthesis in a single-stage procedure.

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Dr Chui said that their device has been designed, manufactured and tested successfully on three live pigs. “Ease of use and time savings has been confirmed with our device during the animal experiments. Instead of waiting for at least two weeks for voice restoration, a patient can speak again almost immediately. The ease of use will enable the clinicians to safely perform TEP procedures on more patients,” Dr Chui said.
The team is also developing new voice prosthesis that is patient specific and made of nanocomposite materials for good sound quality.
Another NUS Engineering team led by Associate Professor Sibudjing Kawi, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, has also clinched the NRF POC grant. Their project is to develop novel anti-coking catalysts (which remain stable at high temperatures) for reforming carbon dioxide during the process of synthesis gas production.