네비게이션으로 바로가기본문으로 바로가기

POSTECH LabCumentary Won Jong Kim (Chemistry)

Biomedical Polymer Lab

더 알아보실래요?

이전

2/68

다음

Biomedical Polymer Lab

Won Jong Kim (Chemistry)

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1998 was awarded to three scientists for their discoveries related to the benefits of nitric oxide (NO) in the prevention of blood clots through the dilation of blood vessels and by curbing the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells and disrupting the function of platelets. In short, NO plays a beneficial role in preventing hypertension and arteriosclerosis by ensuring that blood pressure levels do not rise excessively. Moreover, it has been also determined recently that NO functions as an anti-neoplastic agent in that it destroys cancer cells.

 

Unfortunately, NO is also the primary culprit in aggravating inflammatory diseases. With the onset of inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, immune cells in inflammatory lesions produce significant amounts of NO, which in turn triggers an overactive immune response that just worsens the symptoms.

 

The Biomedical Polymer Lab led by Professor Won Jong Kim at the Department of Chemistry, POSTECH, fabricates nano-sized particles, that measure only tens to hundreds of nanometers long (1nm = one billionth of a meter), out of polymers. Researchers at the Lab then use these particles to deliver NO to the parts of the body where it is needed, while eliminating it in the places it’s not. Recently, it created ‘hybridgel’ which removes NO in inflammatory lesions and delivers therapeutic medications.

 

“Research on nano particles was initiated mainly for the purpose of delivering anticancer drugs”, Professor Kim noted, and added that “Moderna’s novel COVID-19 vaccine has also adopted this mechanism of delivering mRNAs within the human body by loading nano particles with mRNAs”.

 

The advantage researchers find particularly promising with nano particles is the fact that these microscopic particles can be used to deliver medications to targeted local sites to ultimately maximize therapeutic effects while minimizing any side effects. Essentially, nano particles have the potential to ward off many of the adverse effects that existing anticancer drugs cause. As traditional anti-tumor drugs lack the capacity to discriminate normal cells from cancer cells, the side effects for patients can be severe – including but not limited to vomiting, nausea, and/or hair loss. The application of nano particles is wide-ranging for a myriad of other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and diabetes, to name a few.

 

The Biomedical Polymer Lab has so far focused on demonstrating the potential of nano particles by creating polymer-based nano particles and then testing them on animals. As such, the Lab developed nano particles that are able to penetrate into cerebrovascular membranes, which serve to protect the brain not only from toxic substances, but also from therapeutic agents, to effectively deliver medications. Researchers at the Lab also succeeded in engineering nano particles that specifically function in inflammatory lesions for patients with auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Such research findings graced the covers of the world-renowned international academic journals of the ‘Advanced Materials’ and the ‘Nano Letters’.

 

The Biomedical Polymer Lab plans to leverage polymers that are both compatible with the human body and are biodegradable within the body to develop nano particles applicable to the treatment of human diseases with a goal of conducting clinical trials. In collaboration with Omniamed, a bio venture firm that Professor Kim himself started at the end of 2019, the Lab is accelerating its work to develop nano particle-enabled therapeutics by capitalizing on the potential of NO.

 

“It is essential that we first establish technology to manufacture nano particles that deliver consistent quality in order to gain approval from the FDA for human therapeutics”, Professor Kim commented, adding that “Presently, we are working on biologically-friendly polymers based on the materials already approved by the US FDA, including polymers that are currently being used by Moderna”.

Visit Other Labs

    Microwave Antenna, Device and System (MADs) Lab
    Biomedical Polymer Lab
    Energy System Lab
    Industrial AI Lab
    Ultrafast Dynamics Lab
    Computational Nano-Materials Design Lab
    Chemical Biology Lab
    Kim Lab – Ultrasound Research Group
    Accelerated Computing Platform Lab
    Alloy Design Lab
    Environmental & Health Assessment Lab
    Advanced Information System Lab
    Proteostasis Research Institute
    Polymer Electronic Materials Lab
    Microwave Antenna Device and Systems Lab
    Materials Mechanics Lab
    Advanced Electron Microscopy<br> & Functional Imaging Lab
    Innovative Device Engineering and Application (IDEA) Lab
    Logistics Lab
    Pohang Accelerator Laboratory
    Laboratory for Electrode Material Property
    Laboratory for High Energy Plasmas
    Analog IC Systems Lab
    Extreme Mechanics Lab
    Neuro-Epigenetics (NEPI) Lab
    Machine Learning Lab
    Clean Steel Lab
    Structural Nano Metals & Processing Lab
    MARCH Lab
    Wireless Communications and<br> Sensing Research Lab
    Computational Catalysis and<br> Emerging Materials Lab
    Flexible Electronics Group
    Thermal Hydraulics & Energy System Lab
    Computer Vision Lab
    Embedded Processor & Intelligent Computing (EPIC) Lab
    Smart Materials & Sensors Lab
    Climate System Lab
    Technology Enablement of<br> Advanced MOS structure
    Intelligent radar system<br> and signal processing lab
    Single-molecule biophysics lab
    Financial Investment & Risk Management Lab
    Interaction Laboratory
    Laboratory for Biological, Biomimetic,<br> Eco-friendly Materials
    Factory Intelligence lab
    Cellular Immunology Lab
    Analytics & Information Management Lab
    Nanoscale Photonics & Integrated Manufacturing Lab
    Biofabrication & translational medicine lab
    Quantum Nano-electronics lab
    Climate Change Research Lab
    Polymer-based Energy Materials Lab
    Molecular Biotechnology Lab
    Nanostructured Energy Materials Lab
    Organic Printed Electronics Lab
    Oxide & Quantum Materials Lab
    Bio Optics and Acoustics Lab
    Computational Metallurgy Lab
    CAD & SoC Design Lab
    X-ray Scattering & Spectroscopy Lab
    Computing and Control Engineering Lab
    Center for Nanospace-confined<br> Chemical Reactions
    Femtosecond Diffraction &<br> Imaging Science Lab
    Structural Bioinformatics Lab
    Chemical Cellomics Lab
    Applied Mathematics and Mining Lab
    Development Signaling<br>Network Lab
    Biomedical<br>Nanomaterials Lab
    Hazardous and Extreme<br>Environment Robotics Lab