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Ocular Therapeutics & Drug Delivery

Scarring is a process that affects a very wide range of conditions. Scarring disease as well as scarring following surgery often have poor outcomes and present a huge healthcare cost. Our research group focuses on the fundamental understanding of the scarring process and the discovery and identification of key target molecules and pathways that can be further developed into new and better anti-scarring therapies.

To fully understand the wound healing process and the eventual development of fibrosis after ocular surgery, our laboratory has developed a mouse model of glaucoma filtration surgery. The close similarities in the surgical response between human patients and the mouse model highlighted the suitability of this model for studying the surgical response to known therapeutics as well as its validity as a platform for the discovering and testing of novel anti-fibrotics, as listed in the projects below. Moreover, this mouse model has been instrumental in increasing our understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of the wound healing response.

Closely related to drug discovery, our other research interest focuses on the development of sustained release systems for the delivery of ocular drugs. This research team is based at the Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre (OTEC) at the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. The aim of this research is to develop new sustained drug release formulations for ophthalmic conditions needing long term and/or an intensive drug regime in the aim of improving patient compliance. The in vivo evaluation, as well as early human trials (Phase 1) of the developed sustained release formulations take place in SERI.

  1. Developing silencing RNAs targeting SPARC for ameliorating fibrosis after glaucoma filtration surgery under the EYESIGHT program.

  2. Identifying secretory molecules contributing to fibrosis in collaboration with Professor Hong Wanjin from the Institute and Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR.

  3. Investigating the efficacy of novel anti-fibrotics in collaboration with Roche.

  4. Development and in vivo testing of sustained release drug delivery systems at OTEC, NTU in collaboration with Professor Subbu Venkatraman.

  1. Luong QM, Lei Shang, Ang M, Wong TT, Venkatraman SS. A new design and application of bioelasters for better control of intraocular pressure in a glaucoma drainage device. Adv Healthcare Materials July 2013

  3. Seet LF, Finger SN, Chu SW, Toh LZ, Tina T. Wong. Novel insight into the inflammatory and cellular responses following experimental glaucoma surgery: a roadmap for inhibiting fibrosis. Curr Mol Med 2013;13:911-928.

  5. Liu YC, Peng Y, Lwing NC, Venkatraman SS, Wong TT, Mehta JS. A biodegradeable sustained release Prednisolone acetate loaded microfilm drug delivery system effectively prolongs corneal allograft survival in the rat keratoplasty model. PLoS One May 2013

  7. Seet LF, Tong L, Su R, Wong TT. Involvement of SPARC and MMP-3 in the pathogenesis of human pterygium. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53:587-95

  9. Seet LF, Su R, Toh LZ, Wong TT. In vitro analyses of the anti-fibrotic effect of SPARC silencing in human Tenon’s fibroblasts: comparisons with mitomycin-C. J Cell Mol Med 2012;16:1245-59.

  11. A Narayanaswamy, K Lee, M Zhen, J Chua, SM Chai, PY Boey, C Zheng, T Aung, S Venkatraman, TT Wong. Randomised, controlled trial of a sustained delivery formulation of 5-fluorouracil for the treatment of failing blebs. . Ophthalmology, Feb 2012.

  13. JV Natarajan, M Ang, A Darwitan, TT Wong, SS Venkratraman. Nanomedicine for glaucoma: Liposomes provide sustained release of latanoprost in the eye. Int J of Nanomed. E Pub Jan 4 2012

  15. M Ang, Y Peng, Z Ma, S Foo, SS Venkatraman, TT Wong. Evaluation of sustained release of PLC-loaded prednisolone acetate microfilm on post-operative inflammation in an experimental model of glaucoma filtration surgery. Curr Eye Res. 2011 36:1123-8

  17. Seet LF, Lee WS, Su R, Finger S, Crowston JG, Wong TT. Validation of the glaucoma filtration surgical mouse model for anti-fibrotic drug evaluation. Mol Med 2011;17:557-67.

  19. Y Peng. M Ang, S Foo, WS Lee, Z Ma, SS Venkatraman, TT Wong. Biocompatibility and biodegradation studies of subconjunctival implants in rabbit eyes. PLoS One, July 2011

  21. Seet LF, Su R, Barathi VA, Lee WS, Poh R, Heng YM, Manser E, Vithana EN, Aung T, Weaver M, Sage EH, Wong TT. SPARC deficiency results in improved surgical survival in a novel mouse model of glaucoma filtration surgery. PLoS ONE 2010;5:e9415.

1. Tina Wong, BSc(Hons), MBBS,FRCOphth, FRCS(Ed), PhD
2. Seet Li Fong, DPhil (Oxon)
3. Sharon N. Finger, BSc
4. Toh Li Zhen, BSc (Hons)
5. Pamela Goh, BSc