Acupuncture needles combined with nanotechnology, developed by a DGIST research team led by Professor Su-Il In, was recognized as the
world's first application of this technology. This development is
expected to open new directions in the oriental medicine research field.
Professor Su-Il In's research team from the Department of Energy
Systems Engineering succeeded in developing porous acupuncture needles
(hereafter PANs) that offer enhanced therapeutic properties by applying
nanotechnology on the acupuncture needles for the first time in the
‘The porous acupuncture needles offer enhanced therapeutic properties by applying nanotechnology on the acupuncture needles for the first time in the world.’
The findings of this experiment, which was conducted in
collaboration with DGIST's research team and the Addiction Control
Research Center at Daegu Haany University, have attracted the attention
of the relevant academic field in light of the fact that the experiment
combined nanotechnology with acupuncture needles.
Professor In's research team developed PANs with fine pores ranging
in sizes from nanometers (nm= one billionth of a meter) to micrometers
(? = one millionth of a meter) on the surface of the needles using a
PANs are formed by anodization, and are characterized by a widened
surface of the needles through the following process: anion (F-)
contained in the electrolyte bored into the surface of the metal needles
(positive) and created fine and uniform pores.
PANs are expected to be as effective as conventional large and long
needles by minimizing the sense of pain during acupuncture treatment
while expanding the surface area of the needle 20 times greater than
conventional acupuncture ones.
Through electrophysiological experiments with rats, In's research
team proved that PANs excel in transferring signals from a spinal dorsal
horn by the in vivo stimulation of Shenmen (HT7) points, and in
particular, demonstrated that the efficacy of PANs is superior to
conventional acupuncture needles in treating alcohol and cocaine
addiction in animal experiments.
Applications for international patents for the fabrication
technology of PANs developed by DGIST have already been submitted in
countries such as the US, China, and Europe. In addition, in the
domestic oriental medicine field, the fact that the efficacy of
acupuncture needles has been improved through their structural
transformation by applying nanotechnology has been recognized and
evaluated as the first such instance in the thousand-year history of
Professor Su-Il In from DGIST's Department of Energy Systems
Engineering said, "The development of nanotechnology has taken science
and technology to the next level in various fields such as solar cells,
quantum computers, display development, and the like. Based on this
experiment's achievement of combining nanotechnology and oriental
medicine, I will continue to conduct research in order to be at the
forefront of the scientific population of oriental medicine."
Director Jae-ha Yang from Daegu Haany University said, "In western
medicine, nanotechnology is widely used from diagnosis to treatment; but
in eastern medicine, particularly in acupuncture therapy, it is rare to
utilize nano science. The findings of this study are expected to open
new directions in the field of eastern medicine where nano science is
rarely explored and utilized."
Professor In's research findings were published in the online edition of Scientific Reports