Chemists pool resources
Collaborations with research institutions in the US, Europe and Japan are being set up by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Open Laboratory of Chirotechnology.
Chirotechnologies are advanced processes used in the production of pure materials of chiral drugs which are important to the pharmaceutical industry.
Examples of chiral drugs are naproxen, an anti-inflammatory medicine and L-dopa used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Chiral drugs have a world market of more than US$90 billion a year.
The laboratory, opened in 1998, already has links with 15 major universities and research organisations in the Chinese mainland and provides a co-ordinating point for many of Hong Kong’s best academic talents in biology, chemistry and chemical engineering.
Formula helps measurement
of colour by
Dr Xin’s colour
measurement research

A colour measurement method has been devised by researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Results of the 16-month study will help quality controllers in industry, and bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Colour is assessed in either of two ways; visually or by instruments. While visual assessment is more direct, it is subjective. Instrument assessment is used by many companies involved in the manufacture of coloured products, typically textiles and clothing, plastics, inks, paints and cosmetics.
Key to instrument assessment, however, is a reliable colour difference formula. Several formulae have been developed but work only under a set of standard conditions of lighting, viewing geometry, and surface reflective media. Viewing conditions may vary, and how they deviate from the standard is known as the parametric effect. PolyU researchers investigated important parameters in colour difference assessment including sample size, and background colour with results indicating some significant parametric effects. Both reflective media such as textile fabrics, and self-luminous media such as computer colour monitors were researched. Findings will be especially useful for e-commerce and CAD systems using computer monitors and will greatly reduce design and manufacturing lead-time.

Principal Investigator, Dr John H Xin, Institute of Textiles & Clothing,