Research Projects
Point-of-Care Diagnostic Kit for Microbial Keratitis

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

Objective and Significance:

Microbial keratitis, refer as the infection of cornea that is caused by microbes, is an ocular emergency and a common cause of corneal blindness worldwide. It is a serious disease that can lead to corneal scar, corneal perforation, and even blindness. By estimation, in each year, around 2 million people will suffer in unilateral blindness due to microbial keratitis worldwide. The objective is to develop a diagnostic kit which allows a low-cost, rapid, customized, multiplex and point-of-care diagnosis of microbial keratitis. The success of this project results to a lowcost and rapid method of achieving accurate and point-of-care diagnosis of microbial keratitis in typical ophthalmology clinic settings.

Research Plan and Methodology:

The kit consists of a paper-based diagnostic device for the detection of the microbes, and a portable colorimeter to quantify the microbial level on the paper-based device. The device has a novel detector-loading design which allows a customized and multiplex detection. Moreover, with a novel tear collecting duct, the tear sample can be loaded onto the device directly from the surface of the eye. The microbial detection and identification mechanism will be based on the well-developed ELISA principle. Technologies including but not limited to 3D-printing and microfluidic fabrication will be used to develop the paper-based diagnostic device.

About the Supervisor

Dr JYK Chan, Department of Ophthalmology

The research focuses of Dr Joseph Chan are on biomaterials, medical devices, and mircofluidic biochips for ophthalmic applications.


Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.