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2nd Quarter | 2021
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ITF Support Granted on Development of AI-assisted Orthopaedic Surgery Planning

Congratulations on Professor Patrick Yung and his team on granting over $10 million support from the ITF-PRP scheme on the development of AI-assisted orthopaedic surgery planning system. The advent of 3D printing technology enables surgeons to plan surgeries with multi-planar corrections preoperatively, bringing the plan into intraoperative execution accurately. Our six year of experience with more than 250 cases has shown that 3D planning and 3D printing technologies could improve the intraoperative time, recovery time and the accuracy of surgery.

However, 3D printing has not become a widespread technology in most hospitals due to 1) time consuming planning; 2) lack of user-friendly 3D planning software in the market for surgeons; 3) extra investment needed for developing a technical team. In this project, the team led by Dr. Elvis Chui and Dr. Louis Cheung will develop an AI assisted web based surgical planning platform for surgeons. This project will include an automatic segmentation program for medical images based on artificial intelligence to speed up image pre-processing time for surgery planning. Planning modules for common surgeries will be designed specifically. The web-platform can be accessed and manipulated by surgeons easily for pre-operative planning, surgical instrument design and implant design. The resultant 3D files can be output directly from the system and send to 3D printing service providers. Quotation, order placement and payment will be done on the same platform. Surgeons can also track the production online until the printed parts are delivered. In the long run, the program will accumulate a database of medical images for AI analysis to achieve an increasingly accurate surgery planning guidance. Not only surgery precision will be improved, such a pioneering program will also drive the regional development of customized 3D printing for medical applications.

Automatic Segmentation Function for Lower Limb
Surgery Simulation Function with Implant Positioning
Patient Specific Implant Design Function
Med 5's Completed Their Summer Attachment in Orthopaedics

5th Year Medical students spent their summer elective in our department; joining clinics, surgeries and various research projects. They had seminars on biostatistics, visits to allied health units and hands-on saw bone workshops.

It was great to have so many young faces interested in Orthopaedics, maybe we'll meet them again as orthopaedic trainees a few years later!

Effects of Magnesium on Musculoskeletal Health and Regeneration

Research team led by Professor Ling Qin has published a series of findings in high impact journals. Published in Biomaterials, they have reported the promotive effect of magnesium on the enrichment of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) to efficiently improve the healing of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in rabbits [1]. In yet another paper in Biomaterials, they have summarized the progress, challenges, and perspectives on the development of biomaterials for facilitating the ACL reconstruction healing [2].

Collaborating with overseas Universities and Peking University, in rat calvaria defect model, they found that addition of sodium in magnesium-based mesh could stimulate both osteogenesis and angiogenesis in situ [3]. Inspired by these works, they have also investigated the effects of magnesium supplemented as ions form. Oral intake of magnesium chloride could synergize with simvastatin to attenuate obesity-induced bone loss in mice [4]. Intra-articular injection of reagents containing magnesium chloride and vitamin C promisingly reduced osteophyte formation and synovitis in the osteoarthritic model of mice [5].

Several patents have been generated from these findings. Extensive translational studies are still ongoing, under the supports from RGC grants (Areas of Excellence, Theme-based Research Scheme, Collaborative Research Fund, General Research Fund), ITF, and HMRF. Congratulations to Prof. Ling Qin and his team!

Please refer to the following papers for more details:

[1] J. Wang, J. Xu (equal-first), X. Wang, L. Sheng, L. Zheng, B. Song, G. Wu, R. Zhang, H. Yao, N. Zheng, M.T. Yun Ong, P.S. Yung, L. Qin*. Magnesium-pretreated periosteum for promoting bone-tendon healing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, Biomaterials 268 (2021) 120576. [IF: 10.317]
[2] X. He, Y. Li, J. Guo, J. Xu, H. Zu, L. Huang, M. Tim-Yun Ong, P. Shu-Hang Yung, L. Qin*. Biomaterials developed for facilitating healing outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Efficacy, surgical protocols, and assessments using preclinical animal models, Biomaterials 269 (2021) 120625. [IF: 10.317]
[3] Y. Liu, H. Li (equal-first), J. Xu (equal-first), J. TerBush, W. Li, M. Setty, S. Guan, T.D. Nguyen, L. Qin*, Y. Zheng*. Biodegradable metal-derived magnesium and sodium enhances bone regeneration by angiogenesis aided osteogenesis and regulated biological apatite formation, Chemical Engineering Journal 410 (2021). [IF: 10.652]
[4] B. Dai, X. Li (equal-first), J. Xu*, Y. Zhu, L. Huang, W. Tong, H. Yao, D.H.K. Chow, L. Qin*. Synergistic effects of magnesium ions and simvastatin on attenuation of high-fat diet-induced bone loss, Bioactive Materials 6(8) (2021) 2511-2522. [IF: 8.724]
[5] H. Yao, J. Xu, J. Wang, Y. Zhang, N. Zheng, J. Yue, J. Mi, L. Zheng, B. Dai, W. Huang, S. Yung, P. Hu, Y. Ruan, Q. Xue, K. Ho*, L. Qin*. Combination of magnesium ions and vitamin C alleviates synovitis and osteophyte formation in osteoarthritis of mice, Bioactive Materials 6(5) (2021) 1341-1352. [IF: 8.724]

Newly Installed Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Treatment Device for Muscle Regeneration Research
Supported by the Academic Equipment Grant of CUHK, we have recently installed 2 units of the QuantumTX, PEMF treatment device for research projects in collaboration with Dr. Alfredo Franco-Obregon of the National University of Singapore (NUS) focused on sarcopenia research. The technology has been shown to stimulate release of myokines beneficial for muscle metabolism through regulating mitochondrial activities.
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Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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