Care at NUH

Our Research


Research lab

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is actively engaged in research that spanning basic science research, translational research and clinical applications of new technologies. Cultivating a strong research culture, we emphasis translating laboratory findings into clinically relevant therapies. To this end, the department has six different integral core research facilities/laboratories that specialise 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, featuring active collaborations with many agencies and departments on both local and international fronts. Some ongoing projects and collaborations involve researching new bone graft and musculoskeletal tissue substitutes, exploring the use of 3D printing in cartilage repair and regeneration, developing novel scaffolds for bone and cartilage repair, and biomolecular modification and functionalisation of biomaterials to confer bioactivities. 

The department has  garnered distinction in musculoskeletal research, securing a number of local and international research prizes. The department was also instrumental in establishing the university-wide NUS Tissue Engineering Programme (NUSTEP) and initiated the study of mesenchymal stem cells for repairing and regenerating chondral (articular cartilage) defects in adults and physeal (growth plate) defects in the long bones of children.  

Our focus extends to conducting an observational clinical study comparing the effectiveness of chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells for autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) at NUH. Additionally, our research looks into developing scaffolds and bioactive materials for clinical applications, such as spinal fusion. We use chemical engineering and biomolecular techniques to enhance biological activities and host interactions, contributing to the development of orthopaedic implants and grafts.. 

Funding support from agencies like A*STAR's Bioengineering Programme (BEP) Grants validates the significance of our research, covering areas such as bioresorbable biomaterials, stem cell reprogramming, novel clinical care strategies, and genetic screening of musculoskeletal diseases. We have made notable contributions in musculoskeletal oncology, elucidating the molecular basis of bone tumour growth and microsurgical joint transfers. Our commitment to research is evidenced by publications in high-impact international journals, collaborative efforts with researchers globally, multi-disciplinary projects, and successful funding initiatives. 

Furthermore, our staff actively engages in postgraduate student training, offering supervision for Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, providing mentorship to nurture competent clinician scientists and researchers. We organise regular research seminars that serve as a dynamic platform for exchange of ideas between clinicians, scientists and graduate students. 

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is well-poised to continue its advancing research in orthopaedic and musculoskeletal fields, contributing to the progress  of scientific and medical knowledge. 

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