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NTU launches new centre to develop new eye-deas for occular therapeutics

hat the products co-developed at the centre will lead on to further discoveries and innovations in ocular therapy."

Working closely with Prof Venkatraman as the Co-Director of the centre is Dr Tina Wong, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering and a senior consultant at the Singapore National Eye Centre. She is also Head of the Ocular Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Research Group at the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

"Finding the right person with the scientific and technological know-how to help solve a clinical problem or improve the way in which we can treat our patients better is the vital first step to achieving a fruitful, long lasting, research collaboration," Dr Wong said. "Prof Venkatraman and I work well together as a team to bring cutting edge technological solutions to the clinic."

Dr Wong who is a recipient of the Clinician Scientist Award from the Ministry of Health, has developed, together with Prof Venkatraman, a novel glaucoma surgical implant and a sustained drug delivery gel for combating post-operative scarring following glaucoma surgeries. Both these innovations have shown to improve surgical outcomes in glaucoma from early studies.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects an estimated 80 million people. Glaucoma affects about 6 per cent of the Singapore population, of which 3 per cent are over the age of 50, and accounts for 40 per cent of blindness here. It is a chronic, lifelong condition and if untreated, causes loss of vision through irreparable damage to the optic nerve.

The Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre will have about ten full time scientists. Among its initial projects, which are individually funded by various funding sources and agencies, include an implantable device which can constantly monitor the pressure changes within the eye in real time.

Future projects

The centre is a

Contact: Lester Kok
Nanyang Technological University

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