Ling Qin
Ling Qin, Ph.D.
Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory of the Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology
the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR


Dr. Qin is Professor and Director of Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong ( Dr. Qin also holds joint professorship in Shenzhen Institutes of Advance Technology (SIAT) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and serves Director of the Translational Medicine Research & Development Center of Institute of Biomedical & Health Engineering of SIAT ( He received his B.Ed and M.Ed. in sports medical sciences at the Beijing  University of Physical Education in China, and his Ph.D. at the Institute of Experimental Morphology at the German Sports University, Cologne, Germany and postdoc in AO-Research Institute, Davos, Switzerland. Dr. Qin was research scientist in the Department of Trauma & Reconstructive Surgery, University Clinic Rudolf Virchow, Free University Berlin (now known as Charite Medical University), Germany, before joining CUHK in late 1994. 

Dr. Qin has been working on advanced diagnosis, prevention and treatment of bone metabolic
disorders, especially osteoporosis and osteonecrosis, in collaboration with research and clinical scientists in medicine, geriatrics, rheumatologists, traditional medicine, and biomaterials. Dr.
Qin is the past President of the International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Society (ICMRS) ( and member of a number of journal editorial boards, including Editor-in-chief
of Journal of Orthopaedic Translation (; Associate Editor of Clinical Biomechanics and Chinese Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery; editorial member of a number of international journals, including Journal of Bone and Mineral Research ( and International Journal of Sports Medicine ( He holds memberships in several international and national orthopaedic and related research organizations, including collage fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering ( and ICORS International Collage of Fellows/Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research ( As Principle Investigator, Dr. Qin has received over 30 competitive research grants (including CRF, GRF, ITF, HMRF, NSFC-RGC, and EU-NSFC, 12.5 and 13.5 Key R&D projects of the MOST) and over 30 research awards.

Dr. Qin also holds 9 new invention or new utility patents. Dr. Qin published 9 monographs as editor or associate editor, 5 conference proceedings, 90 book chapters, over 400 journal papers in English, German, and Chinese, including 320 SCI articles published in Nat Med, JBMR, Osteoporosis Int, Bone, A&R, Biomaterials, Acta Biomaterialia, Am J Sports Med, Int J Sports Med, etc. with citation >6500 and a H-index of 44.


Low-temperature 3D printing technique for fabricating biodegradable composite materials with bioactive elements

Three-dimensional (3D) printers can create complex structures based on digital models. Based on microCT data, we are able to design the interconnected porous scaffold materials for 3D printing. Tissue engineering principle can also be realized but it is stall away from clinical applications. Our current approach in translational roadmap is aiming at acellular concept by integrating especially exogenous growth factors from herbal and mineral sources using a unique low-temperature 3D machine. Apart from in vitro studies, the prove-of-concept studies are clinical disease-orientated by establishing relevant experimental models, such as steroid-associated osteonecrosis (SAON). In fact SAON may lead to joint collapse and subsequent joint replacement. Poly lactic-co-glycolic acid/ tricalcium phosphate (P/T) scaffold providing sustained release of icaritin (a metabolite of Epimedium-derived flavonoids) was investigated as a bone defect filler after surgical core-decompression (CD) to prevent femoral head collapse in both quadrupedal or even more relevant in bipedal animal models, such as SAON animal model using emu (a large flightless bird). In conclusion, both efficacy and mechanistic studies show the potential of a bioactive composite porous P/T scaffold incorporating icaritin to enhance bone defect repair after surgical CD and prevent femoral head collapse in a bipedal
SAON emu model.

Now there are a number of commercial available 'bio-printing' 3D devices with different  specifications for our R&D. Before "tissue from printer" can be widely applied, further R&D on improving and optimizing printing techniques and biomaterials, identifying potential growth
factors from external sources and knowledge on the development of printed constructs into living tissues will be essential for future clinical use. A functional restoration in skeletal tissue regeneration is also rely on consistent mechanical stimuli for making 3D constructs and their biointegration after its implantation into bone defects.

Selected publications from speaker's group in CUHK (*:corresponding author)
1. He K, Wang XL, Kumta SM, Qin L*, et al. Fabrication of a two-level tumor bone repair biomaterial based on a rapid prototyping technique. Nanofabrication, 1:025003, 2009.
2. Xie XH, Wang XL, Zhang G, He YX, Wang XH, Liu Z, He K, Peng J, Leng Y, Qin L*. Structural
and degradation characteristics of an innovative porous PLGA/TCP scaffold incorporated with bioactive molecular Icaritin. Biomed Mater 5(5):054109, 2010.
3. Chen SH, Wang XL, Xie XH, Zheng LZ, Yao D, Wang DP, Leng Y, Zhang G, Qin L*. Comparative study of osteogenic potential of a composite scaffold incorporating either endogenous bone morphogenetic protein-2 or exogenous phytomolecule icaritin: An in vitro efficacy study. Acta Biomater, 8:3128-3137, 2012.
4. Wang XL, Xie XH, Zhang G, Chen SH, Yao D, He K, Wang XH, Yao XS, Leng Y, Fung KP, Leung KS, Qin L*. Exogenous phytoestrogenic molecule icaritin incorporated into a porous scaffold
for enhancing bone defect repair. J Orthop Res 31(1):164-72, 2013.
5. Chen SH, Zheng LZ, Xie XH, Wang XL, Lai YX, Chen SK, Zhang M, Wang YX, Griffith JF, Qin L*. Comparative study of PLGA/TCP scaffolds incorporated or coated with osteogenic growth factors for enhancement of bone regeneration. J Orthop Transl 2:91-104, 2014.
6. Qin L*, Yao D, Zheng LZ, et al. Phytomolecule Icaritin Incorporated PLGA/TCP Scaffold for Steroid-Associated Osteonecrosis: Proof-of-Concept for Prevention of Hip Joint Collapse in Bipedal Emus and Mechanistic Study in Quadrupedal Rabbits. 59:125-43, 2015.
7. Ma R, Lai YX, Li L, Tan HL, Wang JL, Li Y, Tang TT, Qin L*. Bacterial inhibition potential
of 3D rapid-prototyped magnesium-based porous composite scaffolds-an in vitro efficacy study. Sci Rep. 5:13775, 2015.
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