Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research in Orthopaedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is actively engaged in cutting edge research that encompasses basic science research, translational research and clinical applications of new technologies. We have a very strong research culture with emphasis on translating our findings from the laboratory bench to the clinical bedside in the form of finding and developing novel and useful therapies. To this end, the department has 6 different integral core research facilities/laboratories that specialize in cell and tissue culture, tissue histology, musculoskeletal biomechanics, and clinical diagnostic modalities including motion analysis  and bone densitometry.

Our Department has a number of ongoing research programmes supported by current grants, and we also have a number of active collaborations with many agencies and departments both locally and internationally. Some of our ongoing projects and collaborations include research into new bone graft and musculoskeletal tissue substitutes using nanotechnology and stem cells, the use of stem cells in cartilage repair and regeneration, development of novel scaffolds for bone and cartilage repair, and biomolecular modification and functionalization of biomaterials to confer bioactivities.

The Department has distinguished itself in the field of musculoskeletal research, winning a number of local and international research prizes.

The Department was also instrumental in setting up the University-wide NUS Tissue Engineering Program (NUSTEP). We pioneered the study of mesenchymal stem cells for the repair and regeneration of chondral (articular cartilage) defects in adults and physeal (growth plate) defects in long bones of children. Some of these projects have translated into therapeutic tissue engineering services for the patients. We are currently conducting an observational clinical study designed to compare the effectiveness of chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells as sources of cells for autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), at in NUH.

Another area of research focus involves the development of various scaffolds and bioactive materials for clinical applications, such as for spinal fusion. The deployment of chemical engineering and biomolecular techniques to conjugate bioactive molecules onto biomaterial surfaces is another field in which the Department is at the leading edge of research, and we aim to develop novel orthopaedic implants and grafts with enhanced biological activities and host interactions, such as antimicrobial activity, enhanced osseointegration and promotion of fracture healing. These research projects have received recent funding, including Bioengineering Program (BEP) Grants from A*STAR. Other research fields that have received recent funding includes: development of bioresorbable biomaterials; stem cells reprogramming; investigation and evaluation of novel strategies and techniques to improve clinical care; and genetic screening of musculoskeletal diseases. We have also been credited with significant discoveries in musculoskeletal oncology, including work on the molecular basis of bone tumor growth and microsurgical joint transfers. Our research excellence is evidenced by publications in high impact international journals, strong collaboration with local and international researchers, multi-disciplinary projects and successful funding support from funding agencies.

Our staff members are also actively involved in postgraduate student training, such as supervision for Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and provide strong mentorship in nurturing competent clinician scientists and researchers. We organize regular research seminars which serve as a dynamic platform for exchange of ideas between the clinicians, scientists and graduate students.

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is well poised to continue to excel at the leading front of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal research, and to make significant contributions to the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge.

Research Staff

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:
Assoc. Prof. Wilson Wang
Prof. Wong Hee Kit
Prof. Lee Eng Hin
Prof. James Hui
Assist. Prof. Angelo All
Dr. Yang Zheng

DEPARTMENT STAFF:
Ms. Grace Lee Siok Moi
Mr. Dominic Tey Kek Keong
Ms. Jennifer Chong Sue Wee
Mr. Ramruttun Amit Kumarsing
Mr. Yong Soon Chiong
Ms. Julee Chan Wai Kam
Mr. Hazlan Sanusi
Ms. Tan Sze Yee

RESEARCH FELLOW:
Dr. Ren Xiafei
Dr. Raymond Lam
Dr. Janani Manivannan
Dr. Wu Yingnan

RESEARCH ASSISTANT:
Ms. Antony Dhasan Josphin Denslin Vinitha
Ms. Mathanapriya Naidu Jegathe

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