February 23, 2011 — Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre (NAT) will be expanding its Singapore base to include a prototyping centre in Singapore. The center will be pioneered at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) under a unique Lab-in-RI* program. NAT can leverage on existing infrastructure, research expertise, and save cost on facilities and equipment while working to establish the new prototyping center.
The decision for the new center stems from IMRE’s successful R&D project with NAT on optical waveguide devices, which are cheaper to manufacture and more sensitive than current alternatives. NAT now wants to explore the biosensing applications of these devices and put them into a new range of low-cost, easy-to-use, home-based, consumer biosensors.
"The optical waveguide devices that were developed will give us the opportunity to create version 2.0 biosensors for future homes," said Dr Su Xiaodi, a senior scientist who heads the IMRE research team. She will be working with NAT to put the devices into home-based biosensors that allow users to monitor their health with greater frequency and care, in their home, between visits to the doctor. The targeted users are those with health conditions that could change rapidly or require immediate attention.
"IMRE has been a credible partner since our initial collaboration in 2008, and we would like to continue to draw on IMRE’s intellectual resources and excellent facilities to further our R&D activities in Singapore," said Dr Visit Thaveeprungsriporn, Director of NAT.
"The new sensor demonstrates how materials science research can benefit even the biomedical industry," said Prof Andy Hor, IMRE’s executive director, adding that the prototyping lab in IMRE shows how industrially relevant research institutes can be.
Nitto Denko is one of Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer and a major producer of optical films used in LCD TVs. It invested S$10 million in setting up the Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre (NAT) in Singapore to work on organic electronics research in 2008.
The IMRE-Nitto Denko team will begin R&D development at the new prototyping center this month, with a prototype expected to be available in early 2012.
IMRE has built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterization, materials growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration. State-of-the-art facilities include the SERC Nanofabrication and Characterisation Facility to conduct world-class materials science research. Industry-coupled research is conducted on organic solar cells, nanocomposites, flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), solid-state lighting, nanoimprinting, microfluidics and next generation atomic scale interconnect technology. For more information about IMRE, please visit www.imre.a-star.edu.sg
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centres, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity. For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre Pte Ltd manages the Integrated Organic Optoelectronic Sensing Device Project – three concurrent research projects with the Data Storage Institute, Institute of Materials Research & Engineering and Nanyang Technological University, to advance the field of organic electronic device development.
*Lab-in-RI – A laboratory based in one of A*STAR’s research institutes (RIs) in which the RIs provide partners with infrastructure and framework at an early stage of their R&D projects, allowing companies to jumpstart their R&D activities in Singapore.