Groundbreaking HKUST applied engineering research to improve stroke treatment received a substantial boost in May following a generous HK$5 million donation from Dr Simon Kwok and Dr Eleanor Kwok. The inventions are being developed in collaboration with leading neurosurgeons and seek to create biodevices to assist with endoluminal diseases. Strokes are one of the leading causes of death among Hong Kong people.
The researchers have used blood flow dynamics and vessel wall models and analyses developed at the University, laying a solid foundation for the design of new stents and flow diverting devices made of memory metal. The research is in the laboratory phase but the team has already generated encouraging results, including devices for advanced clot retrieval and focal dissolution to treat ischemic strokes. The HKUST research team comprises Dr John Kwok, Division of Biomedical Engineering, and Prof David Lam and Prof Matthew Yuen, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Breakthrough devices made of bioabsorbable materials, which treat and help the body to restore the treated blood vessels, have also been developed. Laboratory studies have shown that the new bioabsorbable coils and blood flow diverting device reduced brain aneurysm pressure and the risk of bursting. Later, these devices will be absorbed, allowing natural healing to take place.
Dr Simon Kwok said that he and his wife were keen to help those in need to experience the joy of a healthy life through supporting innovative technology. "I wish the research team even greater success in this groundbreaking undertaking, which is sure to enhance the standards of local medical technology," he said.
HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan noted that the donation would assist interdisciplinary cooperation and boost industry collaboration in order to provide innovative technology and devices to improve people's lives.
The research is also establishing a fresh collaborative platform for medical practitioners and engineering academics to extend medical technology frontiers.