The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), releases a national list of the 100 research projects that have the greatest potential to translate strong research into actual societal benefits and increased competitiveness for Swedish business, annually. This year's list focuses on research and innovations that contribute to increasing society's resilience to crises, and that’s where the projects from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, is now taking place.
New method to overcome obstacles for full development of RNA drugs
What if it was possible to observe RNA-based therapeutics and vaccines as they do their job to enter and reprogram human cells, through a microscope in real-time. Thanks to a new method, developed by a group of researchers led by Marcus Wilhelmsson and Elin Esbjörner at Chalmers it is now possible! They have developed a method that makes RNA visible, using new minimalistic probes that do not alter its natural functions. The new method makes RNA visible without effecting its natural functions in the cell. The researchers’ innovation can contribute to solve the largest remaining challenge for taking also other RNA-based therapeutics to the clinic – their low functional cellular uptake. Similarly, the method facilitates research regarding new RNA-vaccines so that the world can be better prepared the next time it is hit by a pandemic.
“First of all, it feels great to be part of IVA's 100 list! It also confirms that others, apart from ourselves, consider this very interesting. It is especially exciting that people with other expertise than a researcher's, for example entrepreneurs in the field of technology, have evaluated our project and see the potential. We are currently in the process of starting a company to enable our research and ideas to be utilized, and we have submitted a patent application. Of course, this also verifies the high quality of what we do ", says Marcus Wilhelmsson Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, in a joint comment.
Reversible coloring technology to extend the use of textile
The textile industry is experiencing big changes, as increasing pressure from consumers and policy makers is forcing companies to act more sustainably. Today’s textile coloring processes don’t allow efficient removal of textile color to facilitate reuse and recycling. To tackle these issues, has a reversible coloring technology, a new combined coloring / decoloring process for textiles, been developed by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology to tackle these issues. Through the startup company Vividye the technology has been further developed. This unique solution will help the industry to extend the use of textile, and to pave the way for a green but colorful future.
“Six years ago, when
we started the research project behind Vividye, we had no idea that we would
end up on the IVA100 list.”, says Romain Bordes, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical
Engineering and one of Vividye’s co-founders
New materials to protect us against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
The increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the greatest threats to humanity. To deal with this challenge, we need to develop new technical solutions. That’s why Martin Andersson and his research group develop new antibacterial materials that are suitable for medical devices, which can reduce the use of systemic antibiotics. The material is inspired by the way our immune system defeat infections and has shown good effect on all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. Clinical studies on the material have been initiated, and the material is getting closer to the researchers' goal of utilization.
“Utilization is an important part of our work, and this is a great example when research create value to the society. In recent years, we have worked in parallel with both research on the antimicrobial material and product development of the innovation in a spin-off company. We are now getting close to introduce the material on the market, so it is perfect timing to be selected on IVA's 100 list. Being part of the list is a great opportunity for us to show how our research can contribute to fight antibiotic resistance” says Martin Andersson, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
On the new method for developing RNA drugs
Scientific article recently published in Journal of Chemical Society (JACS)
On the innovation coloring / decoloring process for textiles
Startup company Vividye websites
Press release ”Vividyes teknologi kan förändra textilindustrin” (in Swedish)
On the material that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones
Scientific article recently published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering
Startup company Amferia website