Research by three Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students which has the potential of becoming an alternative product to be used in the field of orthopaedics was named the Best Invention during the National Research and Innovation Exhibition (NRIC) 2009 that ended yesterday.
The Project titled ‘A Novel Synthetic Composite for Injectable Bone Replacement’ by the USM trio of Chew Kean Khoon, M. Prabu and Rasyidah Alrozi has the potential to replace fractured or cracked human bone to 16 times the strength of the material that is currently available in the market.
All three students, from the School of Chemical Engineering took the first prize, including the NRIC Rotation Cup and trophy, cash prize of RM 5 000 and Certificates of Appreciation.
Prabu said that their invention, which was placed in the Medical and Health Category, was unique because the special cement called the Calcium Phosphate Cement (CPC) that is used acts as a strengthener to replace the bone that is already there.
Prabu added that the use of CPC in the field of orthopaedics has a lot of benefits including the fact that it can be used for the whole body, does not require follow-up surgery, is cost-saving and has no side effects.
“If we use the material that is currently being used, after recovery, the patient has to undergo further surgery to remove the cement that is used. However, with CPC, there is no need for this, as it is easily absorbed into the body,” said Prabu.
Prior to this, Prof. Omar Osman, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development), USM said that NRIC has been successfully organized for the third time and has witnessed an increase in the quantity and quality of the research.
He added that NRIC has grown in line with its objectives and has raised the standard of research to a point where it can compete at international level.
“The efforts of the students to make NRIC a success have to be emulated and it shows the potential of the students in consolidating the field of research at the IPTs at the international arena.
“Organising the NRIC also shows the true efforts of the students in embracing the policies of the university to maintain sustainability and create products that will have a great impact on society in general.
He said this during the NRIC 2009 Presentation of Awards and Closing Ceremony at Dewan Utama Pelajar USM. Also present was the Managing Director of Motorola (the main sponsor), T.T.Yew.
In another development, NRIC 2009 witnessed 60 of the 159 products exhibited successfully winning awards, of which 10 were Gold, 20 Silver and the rest Bronze.
Besides the Best of NRIC 2009 Award won by USM, four other research products were selected for the Special Awards, including the Social Impact Policy Award (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris), Sustainable Project Award (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia), Best Invention and Innovation Award and Moto Intention Award (Universiti Malaysia Perlis).
Among those who received the NRIC 2009 Gold Medal were USM (2), UNIMAP (2), UNIMAS (2), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (2), UPSI and USIM.
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