To Inspire. To Be Inspired. – 30 Stories on HKUST Faculty, Alumni and Students

The field of chemical engineering has come into its own during the COVID-19 pandemic, as researchers around the world have applied their expertise to novel solutions to help fight the virus. One of HKUST’s Chemical Engineering faculty, Prof. Yeung King-Lun, is among them, developing an innovation that is the true culmination of his accomplished career. The challenges presented by COVID-19 have been a catalyst for cooperation and collaboration, with experts from various fields applying their unique skills to solving problems, especially around public health. An innovation that stood out internationally was the work of HKUST Prof. Yeung King-Lun and his team, who developed a new multilevel anti-microbial polymer coating that effectively kills or inactivates a range of bacteria, hard-to-kill spores, and 99.9 percent of highly infectious viruses — including the COVID-19 Omicron variant. MAP-∞, the new coating created by Prof. Yeung and his team in Hong Kong in 2022, works by contact-killing and preventing surface contamination through its anti-adhesion and selfcleaning properties. MAP-∞ is an upgraded version of MAP-1, an antimicrobial coating Prof. Yeung and his team co-developed and commercialized with Chiaphua Industries Limited (CIL). It is noteworthy that the path of innovation of Prof. Yeung intertwined with the public health incidents in Hong Kong over the years. Prof. Yeung first conceived the idea of a long-lasting antiviral coating as early as 1997, during the H5N1 avian influenza outbreak. The research started in 2003 during the SARS epidemic, and MAP-1 was created in 2020 during the outbreak of COVID-19. Led by Prof. Yeung, the research team behind MAP-1 recognized that the world needed to find more sustainable, long-lasting solutions for dealing with the threat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19). Anti-microbial functionality had to become a part of future consumer products — the product they created was designed to meet that need. Unlike traditional disinfectants, MAP-∞ is effective for at least five years. Being non-toxic and safe for skin and the environment, it can be used in hand sanitizers, paints, air filter materials, water-purification elements, and surgical clothing and masks. The global pandemic has shone a light on the most vulnerable in our communities, and the ability to use MAP-∞ in places such as elderly homes, kindergartens, and schools goes a long way to ensuring greater peace of mind for many. 5