Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest high-tech applied research institutions, introduces two breakthrough medical technologies in cancer drug development and wearables: Collabody, a protein engineering platform for the effective delivery of anti-cancer drugs; and iSmartweaR smart clothing, which transforms ordinary fabrics into smart wearables allowing textile products to track vital signs without bodily contact.
Collabody is a new protein engineering platform for the effective delivery of anti-cancer drugs. Currently, anti-cancer drugs suffer from insufficient cross-linking activity with the target molecules on cancer cell surfaces which result in poor therapeutic efficacy.
ITRI’s Collabody with its recombinant fusion platform for making protein drugs with multiple binding capabilities solves this problem and enhances the therapeutic potency by attacking cancer cells through cross-linking with the targets. Its three target-binding domains, like three hands, enables increased binding strength and cross-linking potency and features further improvements in the triple collagen peptide-scaffold and antibody fragment fusion technology included within Collabody.
Collabody’s bispecific T cell collagen peptide-scaffold antibody are like three bridges. Each end of each bridge is connected to different antibodies, and cross-linked to specific molecules in immune cells and tumor cells.
This connection effectively activates T cells, and since T cells have the ability to distinguish between the body’s own cells and foreign matter, they won’t attack autologous cells. Activated T cells increase the chances of killing cancerous cells.
Most traditional “small molecular drugs” are like bombs, with all cells, including healthy ones, suffering the impact of the drug within a confined area. Monoclonal antibodies such as Collabody, however, are able to identify specific antigens in the body and attack those targets like a guided missile.
Consequently, in the course of treating cancer or autoimmune diseases, Collabody is able to kill specific cells, thereby reducing harm to other cells and diminishing side effects to the body.
“Collabody is being tested on laboratory animals, with significant effects especially in fighting lung cancer,” said Yio-Wha Shau, ITRI’s VP and general director of Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories. “If clinical trials on a larger scale are approved, the drug delivery platform is expected to have applications in colon cancer, and head and neck cancers, among others. It is hoped that Collabody will be more effective in treating cancers than current approaches, enabling protein drugs to gradually become more commonly produced by the pharmaceutical community.”
iSmartweaR brings non-contact comfort for tracking vital signs
iSmartweaR smart clothing, jointly developed by ITRI and ECLAT Textile, transforms ordinary fabrics into smart wearables. It integrates nanosecond pulse near-field sensing technology (NPNS), with washable conductive fabrics allowing textile products to track vital signs without bodily contact.
NPNS features miniature low-power radar using Bluetooth transmission to connect with ICT systems. Its advantages are compact size, high sensitivity, high selectivity, high reliability, low price, low energy consumption and penetrability.
Conventional smart clothing uses conductive fibers or rubber as sensing electrodes, and cardiac electrical sensing modules have required at least two or more electrodes to contact the skin for capturing the heart’s electrophysiological signals. Such a limitation cannot compare to the non-contact comfort that ITRI’s iSmartweaR now offers.
ITRI’s smart clothing technology uses a single antenna radar sensing design that simultaneously detects human heartbeats, breathing rates and other activity levels all without causing any user discomfort. Using low-power microwave technology, iSmartweaR does not have direct contact with the skin, thus causing no direct pressure on the wearer’s body.
“iSmartweaR is significant and widely applicable,” said Hong-Dun Lin, manager of ITRI’s Center of Measurement Standards. “It can help prevent sudden death in infants by tracking their physiological parameters. It also analyzes a user’s average health data and can warn of abnormal fatigue levels. iSmartweaR can be used in individual sports training, long-term data analysis for senior citizen healthcare, and health monitoring for professionals such as police and firefighters. Therefore, not only is it practical for the general consumer but also for individuals in various professional fields.”
Industrial Technology Research Institute