Dr Mårten BRELÉN

Assistant Professor

BMBCh(Oxon), FRCOphth, PhD

Contact :

(852) 3943 5846

Request An Appointment :

(852) 3943 5886

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Director, Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre,  The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Coordinator, Vitreo-Retinal Service, CUHK Eye Centre


Dr Mårten Brelén is an Assistant Professor at CUHK. He obtained his preclinical medical degree (MA) from Cambridge University where he graduated with 1st Class Honours. His clinical medical degree (BMBCh) was obtained from Oxford University and he has also spent 4 years in research at the University of Louvain in Belgium which led to the degree of PhD in Biomedical Sciences. Clinically Dr Brelén is fellowship trained at the Bristol Eye Hospital, UK in vitreo-retinal surgery and he is a fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists UK (London).
Dr Brelén is the Head of retina service at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Eye Centre and is the Team Head for the vitreoretinal service at Prince of Wales Hospital. He is the Lead Coordinator of the clinical fellowship programme for vitreoretinal training and the Director of the Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre. He is also a visiting Professor at the Joint Shantou International Eye Centre in Shantou, China.

Research Areas

  1. Development of new electrodiagnostic recording techniques
  2. Retinal imaging
  3. Clinical trials research within medical retina
  4. Visual prosthesis research
  5. Medical Instrumentation
Scientific Program Coordinator (Medical Retina Program) The 33rd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Hong Kong)
Wet Lab Convenor for Retina The 33rd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Hong Kong)
Invited Coordinator / Subspecialty Liaison World Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Spain)
Liaison for Retina Sessions World Ophthalmology Congress 2016 (Mexico)

Research Programmes

  1. The development of novel recording techniques for improving the quality of multifocal electroretinography.
  2. The analysis of intraocular proteiomic profiles in patients with Age Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Macular Oedema and Retinal Vein Occlusion.
  3. Development of medical instrumentation devices.
  4. Retinal Imaging algorithms including stereoscopic imaging of the fundus in patients with Diabetic Macular Oedema amd Fundus video amplification algorithms.
  5. The application of 3D printing in ophthalmology.
  6. Inherited retinal dystrophies and their rehabilitation by a visual prosthesis.

Results of Note

  1. Developed the first multicontact, pre-amplified electroretinography (ERG) recording electrode and validated its usefulness in a range of ERG recordings.
  2. The identification of novel angiogenic and inflammatory proteins in the pathogenesis of various retinal pathologies.
  3. Development of novel algorithms for screening patients with diabetic macular oedema.
  4. Development of novel algorithms to allow retinal non-perfusion to be identified using short colour fundus videos.
  5. Development of novel retinal cameras and 3D cameras for ophthalmology.
  6. Design and manufacture of first 3D printed surgical instrument in ophthalmology.
  7. The development of an optic nerve visual prosthesis to recreate meaningful visual sensations in patients blind from retinitis pigmentosa.

Representative Publications:

  1. Mak CY, Sin HP, Ho M, Chan VC, Young AL, Brelén ME#. Bilateral acute retinal necrosis after bilateral cataract surgery in an immunocompromised patient: a case report. Int Ophthalmol. (In press 2017)
  2. Ng DS, Yip YW, Bakthavatsalam M, Chen LJ, Ng TK, Lai TY, Pang CP, Brelén ME#. Elevated angiopoietin 2 in aqueous of patients with neovascular age related macular degeneration correlates with disease severity at presentation. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 27;7:45081.
  3. Ng DS, Bakthavatsalam M, Lai FH, Cheung CY, Cheung GC, Tang FY, Tsang CW, Lai TY, Wong TY, Brelén ME. Classification of Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Pachyvessels on En Face Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):1054-1062.
  4. Ma L*, *Brelén ME, Tsujikawa M*, Chen H*, Chu WK, Lai TY, Ng DS, Sayanagi K, Hara C, Hashida N, Chan VC, Tam PO, Young AL, Chen W, Nishida K, Pang CP, Chen LJ. Identification of ANGPT2 as a New Gene for
    Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy in the Chinese and Japanese Populations. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):1076-1083.
  5. Bakthavatsalam M, Ng DS, Lai FH, Tang FY, Brelén ME, Tsang CW, Lai TY, Cheung CY. Choroidal structures in polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, neovascular age-related maculopathy, and healthy eyes determined by binarization of swept source optical coherence tomographic images. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 May;255(5):935-943.
  6. Zhang XY, Brelén ME, Wu D, Wang JX, Chan KP, Yung J, Cao D, Wang Y, Zhang S, Chan SO, Pang CP, Ng TK. Continuous exposure to non-lethal doses of sodium iodate induces retinal pigment epithelial cell dysfunction. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 16;6:37279.
  7. Ho M, Woo CF, Chan CK, Young AL, Brelén ME#. Treatment of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy by combined therapy of photodynamic therapy and intravitreal aflibercept injections. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 16;6:36870.
  8. Ma L, Liu K, Lai TYY, Brelén ME, Young AL, Rong SS, Tam POS, Pang CP, Chen LJ. Association of ABCG1 as a new susceptibility gene for neovascular age-related macular degeneration and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. Oct 1;57(13):5758-5763
  9. Lai FH, Ng DS, Bakthavatsalam M, Chan VC, Young AL, Luk FO, Tsang CW, Brelén ME#. A Multicenter Study on the Long-term Outcomes of Half-dose Photodynamic Therapy in Chronic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy. Am J Ophthalmol. 2016 Oct;170:91-99.
  10. Chen LJ, Ma L, Chu WK, Lai TY, Chen H, Brelén ME, Rong SS, Young AL, Tam PO, Zhang M, Pang CP. Identification of PGF as a New Gene for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Chinese Population. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr;57(4):1714-20.

(* co-first author; # corresponding author)

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