Research Projects
Eye-on-a-chip (EoC) microfluidic platforms for eye and vision science research

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☑ URIS


With the growing prevalence of eye diseases such as glaucoma, dry-eye syndromes and retinopathy, novel therapeutic strategies need to be developed accordingly. Existing ophthalmic models mainly include animal models, conventional 2D cell cultures, and more advanced 3D cell culture platforms. However, the in-vitro cell culture methods can rarely fully recapitulate the complex ocular architectures, physical functionalities, and biochemical properties of the entire human eye. Besides, most ophthalmic drug trials currently rely on animal models, which are limited by high costs, species differences and ethical concerns. Therefore, establishing comprehensive human tissue-based in vitro models is of vital importance, to investigate ophthalmic pathogenesis and facilitate preliminary drug studies. Eye-on-a-chip (EoC) combines microfluidics and tissue engineering technology, which has been attracting more attention recently. Due to its capability to overcome the challenges of conventional in-vitro model systems, EoC has become a novel and powerful approach and drives a paradigm shift in the research in the field of eye and vision science.

Objectives and Significance

Our focus is to develop various EoC systems to advance the understanding of multiple eye diseases such as glaucoma and corneal neovascularization. The success of this proposed project will provide biomimetic EoC platforms with better similarities and lower cost for studying the pathogenesis of specific ophthalmic diseases, followed by preclinical drug testing on microfluidic devices.


We are recruiting students at all levels (RPg, MRes[Med] and URIS) for this project. RPg students with biochemistry, biomedical engineering or clinical background would have advantages. Undergraduate students in the LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU with strong interests in biomedical engineering are welcome to apply for MRes[Med] and URIS.

Dr JYK Chan, Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. YK Chan is a ocular bioengineer with current research interests lie in the design and testing of ophthalmic biomaterials, surgical tools and diagnostic tools, and the development of eye-on-a-chip microfluidic platforms for eye and vision science research.

HKU Scholars HUB

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.