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Translational Preclinical Model



The animal models of ocular diseases continue to be an important experimental tool for SERI with the fundamental knock-out mice becoming an integral part of SERI’s research. The animal facility at the Singapore Experimental Medicine Centre (SEMC) is well equipped with instrumentation necessary for ocular research and is an essential adjunct facility utilized extensively by SERI scientists.

This group involves a multidisciplinary team that provides expertise and instrumentation facilitating translational and basic ocular disease research using animal models. The group works with all SERI project teams that require the use of disease-specific animal models. They provide technical support, as well as expert guidance on the selection of the appropriate animal to be utilised as an experimental model for human ocular disease study.

Many animal models are currently being explored for ongoing SERI studies. Future SERI plans involve shifting the focus to understanding the cellular, genomics, proteomics and molecular levels of major ocular diseases in both anterior and posterior segments.

This will be greatly aided by both the in-vitro and in-vivo models of disease studies that would facilitate the SERI team to explore new therapeutics that are currently being developed.

19. Translational Preclinical1

Fundus Photography & Macula/Optic-disc OCT Imaging

19. Translational Preclinical2

The animal lab is shared with SingHealth Experimental Medical Centre (SEMC) of Singapore General Hospital. SERI has 4 rooms in SEMC, which are fully equipped with ophthalmological instruments (see listing below) to aid in ocular translational research and pre-clinical testing.

SERI provides comprehensive translational research expertise and facilities within the confines of a single institution. SERI has a highly skilled and competent personnel group and a well-established infrastructure to orchestrate and support research projects in accordance to the highest international standards. A team of professional staff (scientific, veterinarian, clinician, and technical) helps support a broad range of in-vitro and in-vivo animal research.

SEMC became the first academic animal research facility in Singapore to be fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) in 2006.

Research Goal
Understand the disease processes at the cellular and molecular level in order to design better, innovate methods and dosage for the treatment of human ocular diseases” – Research Goal

  • Carl Zeiss Femtosecond Laser Suite
  • Baush & Lomb Technolas Excimer laser Suite
  • Heidelberg HRT in-vivo Confocal Microscope
  • Topcon Slit-lamp microscopy with video captures function
  • Specular Microscope for in-vivo endothelial cell count
  • Topcon Fundus Microscope
  • Heidelberg HRT Posterior Segment OCT
  • Carl Zeiss Anterior Segment OCT
  • Topcon Purepoint Laser Slit lamp Delivery System
  • Micron IV comprehensive suite for rodent eye research
  • Autorefractor
  • Real-Time IOP device
  • Tonopen for both large and small animals
  • Dissecting/Surgical Microscope
  • Retinoscopy
  • A-Scan Ultrasound for Biometry measurements
  • Carl-Zeiss OLCI AC-Master for mouse biometry measurements
  • Automated Infrared Photorefraction Setup for mouse & chicken
  • Vitrectomy and Indirect Ophthalmoscope
  • ESPION & Roland ERG set-up for small and large animals

Selected Publications

  1. Lai CM, Barathi A, et al. Long-term evaluation of AAV-mediated sFlt-1 gene therapy for ocular neovascularization in mice and monkeys. Mol Ther 2005; 12(4):659-668. IF = 6.825.

  2. Lei Zhou, Amutha Barathi, et al. Proteomic analysis of rabbit tear fluid: Defensin levels after an experimental corneal wound are correlated to wound closure. Proteomics 2007; 7(17): 3194-3206. IF = 5.5.

  3. Barathi VA, et al. Two models of experimental myopia in the mouse. Vision Res. 2008 Mar;48(7):904-16. IF = 2.2.

  4. Barathi VA, Beuerman RW and Schaeffel F. Effects of unilateral topical atropine on binocular pupil responses and eye growth in mice. Vision Research, 2009,Mar;48(7):904-16. IF = 2.2.

  5. Barathi VA, et al. Transglutaminases (TGases) in Ocular and Periocular Tissues: Effect of Muscarinic Agents on TGases in Scleral Fibroblasts. PLOS One. 2011 Apr 6;6(4):e18326. IF = 4.56.

  6. Remya Robinson, Barathi VA, et al. Fluvastatin Downregulates VEGF-A Expression in TNF-∂ –Induced Retinal Vessel Tortuosity, 2011 Sep 27;52(10):7423-31 IOVS. IF: 3.431.

  7. Remya Robinson, Barathi VA, et al. Current update on animal models of diabetic retinopathy. 2012. Dis Model Mech. 2012 Jul;5(4):444-56. IF: 4.584.

  8. Fan Q, Barathi VA. et al. Genetic variants on chromosome 1q41 influence ocular axial length and high myopia. PLoS Genet. 2012 Jun;8(6):e1002753. Epub 2012 Jun 7. IF: 9.543.

  9. Lai CM, Barathi VA, et al. Preclinical safety evaluation of subretinal AAV2.sFlt-1 in non-human primates. Gene Ther. 2012 Oct;19(10):999-1009. IF: 4.5.

  10. Khanh-Nhat Tran-Viet, Barathi VA, et al. Identification of a Novel Gene for Autosomal Dominant High-Grade Myopia Using Whole Exome Sequencing. Amr J Hum Genet, 2013 May 2;92(5):820-6. IF: 11.202.

  11. Veluchamy A Barathi, Jia Lin Kwan, Queenie S.W Tan, Sung Rhan Weon, Li Fong Seet, Liang Kee Goh, Eranga N Vithana, and Roger W Beuerman. Muscarinic Cholinergic Receptor (M2) Plays A Critical Role In The Development Of Myopia. 2013 May 2, Dis Model Mech. 2013. IF: 5.0.

  12. Veluchamy A. Barathi, Yeo S.Wey, Robyn H. Guymer, Tien Y. Wong, Chi D. Luu. Effects of Simvastatin on retinal structure and function of a high-fat atherogenic mouse model of thickened bruch membrane. IOVS, 2014 Jan 7. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11636.. IF: 3.441.

  13. Jayaganesh V. Natarajan, Anastasia Darwitan, Veluchamy A. Barathi, Marcus Ang, Hla Myint Htoon, Freddy Boey, Kam C. Tam, Tina T. Wong, Subbu S. Venkatraman. Sustained Drug Release in Nanomedicine: A Long-Acting Nanocarrier-Based Formulation for Glaucoma. ACS Nano. 2014 Jan 28;8(1):419-29. IF: 12.06.

  14. Sridhar R, Lakshminarayanan R, Madhaiyan K, Barathi V A, Lim KH, Ramakrishna S. Electrosprayed nanoparticles and electrospun nanofibers based on natural materials: applications in tissue regeneration, drug delivery and pharmaceuticals. Chem Soc Rev. 2014 Nov 19. IF: 30.425.

  15. Ng XW, Liu KL, Veluchamy AB, Lwin NC, Wong TT, Venkatraman SS. A biodegradable ocular implant for long-term suppression of intraocular pressure. Drug Deliv Transl Res.

SERI has staff who are well versed in the principles of Good Lab Practice (GLP) that attributes to the quality of our animal model research. The strength of SERI Experimental & translational/pre-clinical has a team mainly:
Principal Investigators (18);
Veterinarians (4);
Clinician scientists/Fellows (14);
Research Associates (5);
Research Officers (6);
Research Assistants (6)

Head: Dr Velachamy A Barathi
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