Biomedical Engineering (often used synonymously with Bioengineering) is a relatively modern field that has made a considerable impact on global healthcare by producing translational advances from research. The fields of cardiovascular research and orthopedics represent excellent examples whereby biomedical engineering solutions are used routinely in clinical practice. Currently, there are several opportunities for biomedical engineers to make a similar impression in Ophthalmology as this arena is ripe for development.
The Biomedical Engineering and Devices Research Group was established as a new initiative at SERI in January 2014. It aims to foster knowledge exchange and collaborations between biomedical engineers from the various biomedical engineering institutions in Singapore (e.g. NUS Biomedical Engineering, NTU Bioengineering, A*STAR, SUTD) and clinician scientists at SERI. Our mission is to drive translational impact by:
Identifying current and imminent clinical needs that require biomedical engineering solutions
Attracting and inspiring early stage biomedical engineers to pursue careers in Ophthalmology
Enhancing networking among clinicians, clinician-scientists, basic scientists, and biomedical engineers
Actively leading and seeking large research grant funding
Aiding patent filing and commercialization of outputs born from new collaborations
Reporting on current collaborations
Biomedical Engineering Areas of Interests:
Development, verification, and validation of novel ophthalmic devices
Advanced ophthalmic imaging solutions
Cell and Tissue Engineering
Interests for Biomedical Engineers
Developed devices and techniques that can be applied to wider domains. We are interested to hear about novel developments and can help you rapidly maximize your exposure through its application to Ophthalmology.
Interests for Clinicians
There are still several achieveable unmet needs and opportunities within Ophthalmology requiring a BME solution: in fact the 2015 Institute of Engineers Singapore- Prestigious Engineer award was won by a collaboration between A*STAR and SERI/SNEC team involving Prof Tin Aung, Asst Prof Baskaran Mani and Adj Assoc Prof Perera.
Asst Prof Girard has been teaching the Biodesign class at NUS for 2 years, where biomedical engineering students designed and developed working prototype medical devices within 12 weeks. Clinicians may be interested in proposing and co-supervising projects to help these projects evolve to their highest potential. However, the focus on commercialization means that only the most promising projects are carried through.
Serving on SERI’s Patent review committee, a reviewer for several innovation grants and as a member of A*STAR’s Diagnostic Development hub, have led to a deep commitment to advancing commercialization in Singapore for Adj Assoc Prof Perera. His work with TouchSurgery in creating a successful Cataract Surgery training app has opened up important routes of collaboration in new pastures.
Together, both co heads work to facilitate projects between Clinicians and Engineers via networking events and in conjunction with third party stakeholders for funding and mentorship.
Current Projects and Collaborations from the Bioengineering & Devices Initiative
1) Development of Novel Intraocular Lens Injectors
An early prototype for the LensGun – A tool to facilitate IOL insertion during cataract surgery
2) Development of Smart Pupil Expanders
Novel smart pupil expander
3) Improved Diagnosis of Age-related Macular Degeneration using Novel Protein Multiplexing Technology
Dr Dieter Trau, co-founder of AYOXXA Biosystems Pte Ltd, and Dr Marcus Ang are currently validating AYOXXA’s multiplexing technology to improve the diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration.
4) Development of Novel Engineering Tools to Characterize Ocular Biomechanics In Vivo
Dr Michael Girard is currently developing novel engineering tools that will allow clinicians to quantify scleral, retinal, choroidal, corneal, iris, and optic nerve head biomechanics in vivo. These tools help the diagnosis and treatment of multiple ophthalmic disorders including myopia, glaucoma, corneal disorders, and AMD.
- Mari JM, Park SC, Strouthids NG, Girard MJA. Enhancement of Lamina Cribrosa Visibility in Optical Coherence Tomography Images Using Adaptive Compensation. Invest Ophthal and Vis Sci. 2013; 54(3):2238-47.
- Girard MJA, Strouthidis NG, Desjardins A, Mari JM, Ethier CR. In Vivo Optic nerve Head Biomechanics: Performance Testing of a 3D tracking algorithm. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 2013; 10(87):20130459.
- Lamina cribrosa visibility using optical coherence tomography: comparison of devices and effects of image enhancement techniques. Girard MJ, Tun TA, Husain R, Acharyya S, Haaland BA, Wei X, Mari JM, Perera SA, Baskaran M, Aung T, Strouthidis NG. IOVS 15;56(2):865-74.
TEC-12-22-Device for Single Handled Injection of an Intraocular Lens
Co-patent for “Shape Memory Pupil Expanders “US Provisional No. 62/243,772 ILO Ref: 15066N-US/PRV. SHIP Ref: TEC-15-07
Collaboration between SERI and AYOXXA. Validation of a Novel Micro-fluid Cytokine Analysis Platform for aqueous and vitreous humour in normal and eyes with Diabetic Retinopathy. Funded by MOH-IAF. S$541,901.37
Major research grant: Industrial, mechanical design and prototyping for a lensgun. S$ 99,499.30 as part of the SNEC Health Research Endowment Fund (HREF) Device R&D funds for Later POC phase project. As PI.
Minor research grant SNEC HREF: Episcleral venous system and optic nerve vasculature mapping in normal and glaucomatous subjects: an optical coherence tomography angiography study. Project Number: R1276/82/2015. As PI. $1,542.00
Minor research grant SNEC HREF: A Rabbit Model Study to Determine The Efficacy Of A Prototype Corneal Endothelial Protector For Cataract Surgery. $19,865.09 Jul 2014-15 as PI.