Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☑ URIS


Human tear fluid is characterized with a tiny volume and complex compositions of proteins and other biomolecules, which may be useful to monitor not only ocular but also many systemic diseases. Although tear can be collected with minimally invasive procedures nowadays, these procedures are tedious and inconvenient, which also create discomfort to the patients, making disease monitoring using tear samples less promising and clinically translational. In addition, tear analysis is technically challenging because of the small volume of tear fluid (<5 μL) available, which the amount of the potential biomarkers is too low to be detected by current molecular diagnostic methods. Therefore, before tear can be used as a reliable source of liquid biopsy, improved tear collection methods and standard tear handling procedures with sensitive and reliable proteomic analysis technologies are all required.


Objectives and Significance

We aim to build a point-of-care contact-lens based device which can conveniently and efficiently collect tears, followed by performing sensitive molecule diagnosis on the device with simple procedures. The success of this proposed project will lead to a better use of tear for disease diagnosis, in terms of providing a detection with higher sensitivity and lower diagnostic cost, and a relative safer and more comfort tear collection experience.



We are recruiting students at all levels (RPg, MRes[Med] and URIS) for this project. RPg students with experience in microfabrication and biomolecule sensing 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.

Professor JYK Chan, Department of Ophthalmology

Professor 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.