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21 / 05 / 2013
HKUST Receives HK$5 million Donation from Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok
To support Interdisciplinary Engineering and Medicine Research on Endoluminal Medical Devices
Prof Tony F Chan, President of HKUST (right) expresses deep gratitude to Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok for their donation.   [Download Photo]

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) received a five-million-dollar donation from Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok for the development of bio-devices for treatment of endoluminal diseases. These groundbreaking inventions, developed with an aim to improving stroke treatments, are the fruits of close collaboration between leading neurosurgeons and the engineering faculty at HKUST. The successful collaboration points a new way forward for the medical practitioners and the engineering academics to collaboratively develop frontier medical technologies in Hong Kong.

As an international research university, HKUST strives to foster high-impact collaborations between practitioners of different fields and the faculty members to solve complex challenges in energy, environment, and medicines. Stroke is a leading killer of Hongkongers. Open cranial surgery has been used to treat strokes, and emergence of minimally invasive techniques using brain-implanted metal diverters and endoluminal coils have improved treatment successes and recovery. Straddling fields ranging from biomaterials, process engineering, mechanics to medicine, a research team comprising Dr John Kwok of the Division of Biomedical Engineering, Prof David Lam and Prof Matthew Yuen of the Department of Mechanical Engineering makes use of the blood flow dynamics and vessel wall models and analyses developed at HKUST for the study of blood flow dynamics, laying a good foundation for the design of new stents and flow diverting devices made of memory metal. Still in laboratory stage, the research has reaped several encouraging breakthroughs. It has developed devices for advanced clot retrieval and focal dissolution to treat ischemic stroke. By dint of cutting-edge clot retrieval and dissolution devices, an operation offers promise of removing any clot as a whole once and for all without breaking it up, making it a comparably safer process that prevents maceration during removal, a common misstep which results in the blocking of distal vessels.

The team has also developed breakthrough devices made of bioabsorbable materials which not only treat, but help the body to restore the treated blood vessels. Laboratory studies showed that the new biosordable coils and blood flow diverting device reduced brain aneurysm pressure and the risk of bursting. The bioaborbility of the device would allow it to disappear, and allow the shrinkage and natural healing of aneurysm to proceed without interference.

Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok made a generous donation of five million dollars to HKUST in support of the research project. Officiating at the ceremony, Dr Kwok said, "My wife and I have long cherished the ideal of 'making life beautiful'. By supporting innovative technology, we wish the needy could get to experience the joy of a fabulous and healthy life. I wish the research team even greater success in this groundbreaking undertaking, which is sure to enhance the standards of local medical technology."

Prof Tony F Chan, President of HKUST expressed deep gratitude to Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok for their generous gift. He said, "The support from Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok to the research team will lead to more interdisciplinary cooperation in different areas. HKUST shares the vision of Dr Kwok in striving for excellence, enhancing our education and research quality and opening new avenues for development. HKUST will continue to amplify its research strengths and work with the industry to foster the advancement of society and come up with even greater contributions to the general public."

                             Innovative bio-devices developed by HKUST research team

Biodegradable aneurysmal coil (for treating hemorrhagic stroke): aims to reduce aneurysm pressure and allow the aneurysm to shrink; then the coil gradually degrades and vanishes within the body.

Clot retrieval device (for treating thrombotic stroke): targets to therma-mechanically remove the clot with minimal vessel wall contact.

Blood flow diverting devices (for treating hemorrhagic stroke): target to reduce blood flow into the aneurysm sac to the point of stagnation, gradual thrombosis without embolic agents or coil, and maintain outflow in the side branches. Clot dissolution device (for treating thrombotic stroke): tries to dissolve clot with minimal vessel wall damage.

 

 
 
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