James Hui Hoi Po

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Head & Senior Consultant
Division of Paediatric Orthopaedics
University Orthopaedics, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery Cluster
National University Health System
University Orthopaedics
Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery Cluster
NUHS Tower Block, Level 11, 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119288
Tel: 6778 0720
Email: dosjhui@nuhs.edu.sg
Website : http://medicine.nus.edu.sg/os/staff/james_hui.html


  • M.B.B.S., National University of Singapore, Singapore 1990
  • F.R.C.S. (Edinburgh), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, United Kingdom 1994
  • F.A.M.S., Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 1999
  • Doctor of Medicine, NUS 2007

Major Research Interests

  • Enhancing self-renewal and therapeutic potential of adult human mesenchymal stem cells through the use of heparan sulfate
  • Repair of Osteochondral Defects using a combination of stem cell and heparan sulfate Device
  • Improving graft bonding at the bone tunnel for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction, using a silk sleeve device

Selected Research Project

Professor Hui continually strives to improve and research innovative ways to overcome the clinical challenges faced in knee repair and in particular, treating osteochondral defects. One such pioneering method involves the use of a construct consisting of a new hydrogel material – oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) – seeded with bone marrow derived stem cells (BMSCs) and this is found to have successfully repaired up to 99% chondral defect area with 83% hyaline-like cartilage. A further combination with genetically-modified TGFb3-expressing BMSCs has also significantly enhanced ossification of the subchondral bone. This would be beneficial in treating diseases like osteochondritis dissecans. Among the numerous fractures suffered every year, 10-15% go on to develop into either delayed union or nonunion. His team’s breakthrough research on FGF2-binding heparan sulfate (HS) showed that, by employing endogenous FGF2 secreted in the injury site to facilitate stem cell recruitment, proliferation and differentiation, HS would facilitate bone healing. Ultimately, HS may provide an alternative to FGF2 therapy and help not only to reduce fracture-healing time but also has the potential to improve healing success rates and significantly lower health care cost. Another area of innovation that his team has embarked upon is to address the persistent lack of graft integration in ACL reconstruction. In this regard, his team has developed a novel bone-graft interfacial augmentation (BGIA) device consisting of a hybrid silk knit sheath with porous silk sponge and hydroxapatite nanoparticles. The device and assembly process are not just novel and robust but also improved osteointegration within the bone tunnel (US patent: Publication No.: US 2016/0157992 A1). Prof Hui is also unrelenting in his quest to provide clinicians with a simple and effective method to scale up highly potent adult stem cells ex vivo. One strategy that he has adopted included the addition of heparan sulfate sugars as supplements in standardised hMSC culture medium. In a world-first innovation, HS supplementation resulted in ~3-fold more MSCs after only 2 weeks, which is half the usual duration taken. After implantation into osteochondral defects in rats, MSCs which underwent HS-treatment proved to be highly efficient in treating large cartilage defects. Such groundbreaking results are spearheading efforts to move this technology into the clinical arena, once it has undergone the requisite safety and efficacy tests in a large animal model

Selected Publications

Toh WS, Brittberg M, Farr J, Foldager CB, Gomoll AH, Hui JH, Richardson JB, Roberts S, Spector M. Cellular senescence in aging and osteoarthritis. Acta Orthop. 2016 Sep 23:1-9. IF: 3.54

Afizah H, Hui JH. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2016 Jul-Sep;7(3):177-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2016.06.006. Review. IF:0.33

Zhang S, Chu WC, Lai RC, Lim SK, Hui JH, Toh WS. Exosomes derived from human embryonic mesenchymal stem cells promote osteochondral regeneration. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. Jul 5. pii: S1063-4584(16)30173-X. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2016.06.022. [Epub ahead of print] (2016) IF: 4.535

Wijesinghe SJ, Ling L, Murali S, Qing YH, Hinkley SF, Carnachan SM, Bell TJ, Swaminathan K, Hui JH, van Wijnen AJ, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Affinity selection of FGF2-Binding Heparan Sulfates for Ex Vivo Expansion of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells. J Cell Physiol. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25454. [Epub ahead of print] June 13 (2016) IF: 4.155

Chua K, Tan CY, Chen Z, Wong HK, Lee EH, Tay SK, Ong HT, Goh DY, Hui JH. Long-term Follow-up of Pulmonary Function and Scoliosis in Patients With Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. J Pediatr Orthop. 36(1):63-9. (2016) IF:1.33

Ling L, Camilleri ET, Helledie T, Samsonraj RM, Titmarsh DM, Chua RJ, Dreesen O, Dombrowski C, Rider DA, Galindo M, Lee I, Hong W, Hui JH, Nurcombe V, van Wijnen AJ, Cool SM. Effect of heparin on the biological properties and molecular signature of human mesenchymal stem cells. Gene. 15;576(1 Pt 2):292-303. (2016) IF:1.74

He M, Gan AW, Lim AY, Goh JC, Hui JH, Chong AK. Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Augmentation of Rabbit Flexor Tendon Healing. Hand Surg. 20(3):421-9 (2015) IF: 0.52

Rai B, Chatterjea A, Lim ZX, Tan TC, Sawyer AA, Hosaka YZ, Murali S, Lee JJ, Fenwick SA, Hui JH, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Repair of segmental ulna defects using a β-TCP implant in combination with a heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan variant. Acta Biomater. 28:193-204. (2015) IF:4.56

Toh WS, Foldager CB, Hui JH, Olsen BR, Spector M. Exploiting Stem Cell-Extracellular Matrix Interactions for Cartilage Regeneration: A Focus on Basement Membrane Molecules. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. (2015) IF:1.71

Samsonraj RM, Rai B, Sathiyanathan P, Puan KJ, Rötzschke O, Hui JH, Raghunath M, Stanton LW, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Establishing criteria for human mesenchymal stem cell potency. Stem Cells. 33(6):1878-91 (2015) IF: 5.902

Zhang T, Wen F, Wu Y, Goh GS, Ge Z, Tan LP, Hui JH, Yang Z. Cross-talk between TGF-beta/SMAD and integrin signaling pathways in regulating hypertrophy of mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis under deferral dynamic compression. Biomaterials. 38:72-85 (2015) ) IF: 8.387

Wu YN, Law JB, He AY Low HY, Hui JH, Lim CT, Yang Z, Lee EH. Substrate topography determines the fate of chondrogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells resulting in specific cartilage phenotype formation. Nanomedicine 10(7):1507-16 (2014) IF: 5.413

Toh WS, Foldager CB, Pei M, Hui JH. Advances in Mesenchymal Stem Cell-based Strategies for Cartilage Repair and Regeneration. Stem Cell Rev. 10(5):686-96 (2014) IF:3.63

Goyal D, Keyhani S, Goyal A, Lee EH, Hui JH, Vaziri AS. Evidence-based status of osteochondral cylinder transfer techniques: a systematic review of level I and II studies. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery 30:497-505 (2014) IF:3.31

Wong KL, Lee KB, Tai BC, Law P, Lee EH, Hui JH. Injectable cultured bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells in varus knees with cartilage defects undergoing high tibial osteotomy: a prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial with 2 years’ follow-up. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery 29(12):2020-8 (2013) IF: 3.191

Hui JH*, Goyal D, Nakamura N, Ochi M. Cartilage Repair: 2013 Update. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery 29(12):1992-2000 (2013) IF: 3.191

Hui JH*, Goyal D, Nakamura N, Ochi M. Editorial: Cartilage Repair in Asia: Selected Reports on Research and Clinical Trials. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery 29(12):1991 (2013) IF: 3.191

Dombrowski C, Helledie T, Ling L, Grünert M, Canning CA, Jones CM, Hui JH, Nurcombe V, van Wijnen AJ, Cool SM. FGFR1 Signaling Stimulates Proliferation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Inhibiting the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors P21Waf1 and P27Kip1. Stem Cells. 31(12):2724-36 (2013) IF: 7.133

Goyal D, Sohrab, Lee EH, Hui JH*. Evidence-Based Status of Second and Third-Generation Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation Over First-Generation: A Systematic Review of Level I and II Studies. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. 29(11):1872-8 (2013) IF: 3.191

Goyal D, Sohrab, Lee EH, Hui JH*. Evidence Based Status of Microfracture Technique, a Systemic Review of Level I and II Studies. Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. 29(9):1579-88 (2013) IF: 3.191

He M, Gan AW, Lim AY, Goh JC, Hui JH, Lee EH, Chong AK. The effect of fibrin glue on tendon healing and adhesion formation in a rabbit model of flexor tendon injury and repair. J PlastSurg Hand Surg. 47(6):509-12 (2013) IF:0.521

Blocki A, Wang Y, Koch M, Peh P, Beyer S, Law P, Hui JH, Raghunath M. Not all MSCs can act as pericytes: Functional in vitro assays to distinguish pericytes from other mesenchymal stem cells in angiogenesis. Stem Cells Dev, (2013) IF:4.202

Murali S, Rai B, Dombrowski C, Lee JL, Lim ZX, Bramono DS, Ling L, Bell T, Hinkley S, Nathan SS, Hui JH, Wong HK, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Affinity-selected heparan sulfate for bone repair. Biomaterials, 34:5594-605 (2013). IF: 8.312

Lim CT, Ren XF, Afizah MH, Tarigan-Panjaitan S, Yang Z, Wu Y, Chian KS, Mikos AG, Hui JH*. Repair of osteochondral defects with rehydrated freeze-dried oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) hydrogels seeded with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in a porcine model. Tissue Engineering Part A.19:1852-61(2013). IF:4.74

Samsonraj RM, Raghunath M, Hui JH, Ling L, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Telomere length analysis of human mesenchymal stem cells by quantitative PCR. Gene. 519:348-55 (2013). IF: 0.72

Shukrimi AB, Afizah MH, Schmitt JF, Hui JH*. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for injured growth plate. Frontiers in Bioscience, 5:774-85(2013). IF: 4.249

Teo BJ, Buhary KS, Tai BC and Hui JH*. Cell-based therapy improves function in adolescents and young adults with patellar osteochondritisdissecans. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 471: 1152-8 (2013) IF:3.26

Hui JH*, Ren X, Hassan ABM, Chian KS and Mikos AG, “Oligo [poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) hydrogel enhances osteochondral repair in porcine femoral condyle defects”. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 471: 1174-85 (2013) IF:3.26

Bhakta G, Rai B, Lim ZX, Hui JH, Stein GS, van Wijnen AJ, Nurcombe V, Prestwich GD and Cool SM. Hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels functionalized with heparan that support controlled release of bioactive BMP-2. Biomaterials, 33:6113-22 (2012) IF: 7.604

Liu T, Ng WM, Tan HS, Vinitha D, Yang Z, Fan JB, Zou Y, Hui JH, Lee EH and Lim B. Molecular basis of immortalization of human mesenchymal stem cells by combination of p53 knockdown and Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase overexpression. Stem Cells and Development, 22:268-78(2012) IF:4.67

Yang Z, Zou Y, Guo X, Tan HS, Denslin V, Yeow CH, Ren X, Liu T, Hui JH and Lee EH. Temporal activation of β-catenin signaling in the chondrogenic process of mesenchymal stem cells affects the phenotype of the cartilage generated. Stem Cells and Development, 21:1966-76(2012) IF:4.67

Helledie T, Dombrowski C, Rai B, Lim ZX, Hin IL, Rider DA, Stein GS, Hong W, van Wijnen AJ, Hui JH, Victor N and Simon MC. Heparan Sulfate Enhances the Self-Renewal and Therapeutic Potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Adult Bone Marrow. Stem Cells and Development, 21:1897-910 (2012). IF:4.67

Hui JH*, Buhary KS and Chowdhary A. Implantation of orthobiologic, biodegradable scaffolds in osteochondral repair. Orthopaedic Clinics of North America, 43: 255-61 (2012) IF:2.89

Brown JF, See KH, Yang Z, Hui JH and Lee EH. Sequential differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells in an agarose scaffold promotes a physis -like zonal alignment of chondrocytes. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 30: 1753-9 (2012) IF: 1.215

Zhang Z, Teoh SH, Hui JH, Fisk NM, Choolani M and Chan KYJ. The potential of human fetal mesenchymal stem cells for off-the-shelf bone tissue engineering application”. Biomaterials, 33: 2656-72 (2012) IF: 7.604

Zhang, T, Zou Y, Wu Y, Yang Z, Hui JH, Ge Z and Lee EH. Improved mesenchymal stem cells attachment and in vitro cartilage tissue formation on chitosan –modified poly(L-lactide-co-epsilon-caprolactone) scaffold. Tissue Engineering Part A, 18: 242-51 (2012) IF:4.78

Chowdhary A and Hui JH*. Reconstruction of Anterior Cruciate Ligament in Children: Hamstring versus Bone Patella Tendon Bone Graft. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 30: 751-8 (2011) IF: 2.63

Liu T, Guo XM, Tan HS, Hui JH, Lim B and Lee EH. Zinc-finger protein 145, acting as an upstream regulator of SOX9, improves the differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage regeneration and repair. Arthritis And Rheumatism, 63: 2711-20 (2011) IF: 7.866