- Toward academic excellence.
- To promote interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research collaboration.
- To boost biomedical engineering and nanomedicine industry in Taiwan with global market presence.
- To serve as think tank for government policy making.
These mission statements set the objective for this institute (I-BEN) to strive, expand and contribute to the frontiers of knowledge in its respective areas of expertise to be in leadership position or strong influence in national and international arena. It will take its research results in biomedical imaging, bioengineering and nanoscience/nanotechnology and perform translational research in close collaboration with clinical institutions as well as other clinical or biomedical research disciplines from bench to bedside. I-BEN will also establish close connections with local and international industrial players to enable its results to be commercialized the healthcare community. Finally, the formation of the institute will serve wider constituencies in policy making by offering our expertise and accomplishments.
Strategies to achieve the goals
The institute will continue to foster a PI-based framework to conduct basic and product-oriented research projects, while strengthening research achievements which in part can be indexed by more SCI journal articles to be published. It will continue to enhance domestic and international academic exchange and cooperation by holding conferences and workshops as well as inviting outstanding professors to visit. The institute will also continue to build on its product development infrastructure to develop innovative biomedical devices, instrumentation, biomaterial and nanoparticle product with industrial collaboration, in an effort to make a definitive impact toward improving Taiwan’s healthcare system and establishing Taiwan’s biomedical technology and medical device industry.
The institute seeks to leverage a wide range of biomedical engineering technology and nanoscience/nanotechnology to improve human life. In order to become a top institute of biomedical engineering and nanomedicine both in academia and industry, the institute will keep up with the rapid advancement of technology globally in healthcare in general and in the field of bioengineering and nanomedicine in particular. One such effort will be to integrate nanotechnology, biomaterials, cell biology, and microscale flow channel systems with an objective to develop competitive tissue regenerative medical products. To add the element of nanotechnology into the research of biomechanics, biophotonics & bioelectronics to design novel medical devices for cancer therapy as well as for the geriatric or homecare applications would be another future focus in the proposed institute. One last, but not the least important, potential area of integration will be to integrate the multimodality molecular imaging platform with multi-functional imaging probes developed by nanotechnology toward the advancement in image-guided personalized medicine.
The roles of the leadership in the institute are to lead and to guide the research directions and to integrate the strength in the institute to make contribution to the field of biomedical engineering and nanomedicine not only in Taiwan but all over the world. One immediate impact the proposed reorganization and consolidation can make will be in the optimal integration of existing resources and diversified expertise to conduct large-scale interdisciplinary studies in the fields of nanomedicine and biomedical imaging for such important applications as cancer early detection and treatment as well as regenerative medicine.
The research in the institute aims to maintain high standards in its research, conduct interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research collaboration, and promote related industry in Taiwan with product-oriented research and development, and at the same time play an important role as government’s think tank for the healthcare policy making. To combine the technologies in nano-science and medical engineering, we focus primarily on three major areas:
- Biomedical imaging: molecular imaging and medical imaging in MRI, CT, SPECT, PET, optical, ultrasound, and their applications including imaging-guided therapy and multimodality imaging fusion technology;
- Biomaterial & Regenerative Medicine: including biomaterials, regenerative medicine, biomechanics and cellular microfluidic device;
- Nanomedicine: including biosafety and theranostic application from the implementations of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
- Medical Electronics: including developing of wearable neurotechnology, neurophotonics, neuroengineering, and neurophotonics
With the integration of a wide spectrum of expertise from Biomaterial, Tissue Engineering, Cellular Engineering, Biophotonics, Transgenic Animal Molecular Imaging, Medical Imaging Image Guided Therapy, Therapeutic Ultrasound, to Nanotheranostics, the proposed institute strengthens existing synergy and collaboration and organize several integrated programs in these following possible directions or areas:
- Identify cancer and neural degenerative disease as first two clinical targets;
- Develop multimodality molecular imaging platform from cell level, animal pre-clinical to human clinical studies;
- Leverage expertise and outstanding research results in nanomedicine technology to develop multi-functional theranostic nanoparticles;
- Develop cell tracking techniques for stem cell proliferation, differentiation or adhesion at cell level as well as in-vivo with animal and clinical studies using the above imaging and nanotechnology platform;
- Continue to build on product development infrastructure for device, equipment, material and nano-formulation with strong and longer term industrial linkage.
Significance and contribution
At the turn of twenty-first century, people expect the coming of the aged population. The role played by engineering and nanotechnology in moving forward the biomedical research and technological advancement have caught favorable attention by the clinical, academic and industrial communities in the healthcare industry. United States of America, with its jump start of biomedical engineering research and development effort in the middle of twentieth century, has led the way and still maintained predominant position. Naturally, the healthcare and high-tech industrial circles in the European Community countries, Canada and Japan have since also devoted a great deal of resources into the Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine industry, and become major players in the field. Without exception, Taiwan has had its own share of effort by the establishment of various institutions both in the academic and industrial research domains.
National Research Health Institutes, being one of the leading institutions in Taiwan, has placed heavy emphasis to the development of the disciplines in biomedical engineering and nanomedicine. Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine (I-BEN) was established in July 2013 by integrating the Division of Medical Engineering Research (DMER, established in 2000) and the Center for Nanomedicine Research (CNMR, established in 2005) to build a critical mass in expertise and to integrate resource for developing leading edge technologies.
The vision of the institute is aimed at becoming a leading institute not only in the domestic but also at the global level. We would like to build critical mass in expertise and resource in developing leading edge technologies to meet the present and future needs in the healthcare sector. We expect to achieve the above objective not only by excelling in each individual project but by organizing integrative programs in the fields of biomedical engineering, biomedical imaging and nanotechnology to make an impact in successful clinical translations and industrial development in Taiwan.