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Asst Prof  Wong Keng Lin, Francis

Asst Prof Wong Keng Lin, Francis

MBBS, MRCSEd, MMed (Orth), MCI (NUS), FRCSEd (Orth), FAMS (Orth), PhD


Sengkang General Hospital

Specialty: Orthopaedic Surgery

Sub-specialties: Sports Surgery, Joint Preservation, Diabetic Limb Salvage

Conditions Treated by this Doctor:
Cartilage Repair, Complex Orthopaedic Surgery Wounds, General Orthopaedics, Knee Ligament Injuries (ACL, PCL, Multiligament), Orthobiologics and Cell Therapy, Sports Injuries.

Clinical Appointments

  • Service Chief SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre Sengkang General HospitalSengkang General Hospital
  • Consultant Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Sengkang General HospitalSengkang General Hospital


Assistant Professor Francis Wong Keng Lin is a Consultant in Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Assistant Professor in Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Cardiff University, Clinical Lecturer in NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Clinical Teacher and Adjunct Lecturer in NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, and Clinical Physician Faculty Member of the Singhealth Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme. He graduated as the pioneer resident in the Clinician Scientist Track from NUHS Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme, clinching the Best Senior Resident Award 3 consecutive years in a row. He was also the Chief Resident in his residency programme and was part of the nation-wide Singapore Chief Residency Programme (SCRP) in 2014-2015 (Cohort 2). As part of his training as an Orthopaedic Surgeon-Scientist, Asst Prof Francis Wong completed his Masters of Clinical Investigation (MCI) and his PhD in cartilage regeneration in NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and went on to be the inaugural Orthopaedic Surgery Resident in Singapore to win the prestigious National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Research Training Fellowship ($428,400). He obtained his first NMRC New Investigator Grant (NIG) ($199,650) in 2015, and in 2022, became the first ever nationally funded Orthopaedic Surgeon-Scientist by securing his NMRC Transition Award ($943,500).

Asst Prof Francis Wong joined the Musculoskeletal Academic Clinical Programme (MSK ACP) at Duke-NUS in August 2018 as the Research Lead of SKH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and has led the department to academic success in terms of grant funding and publications. In 2021, he was promoted to the Research Director of Sengkang General Hospital, achieving the feat of being the youngest candidate to assume a senior leadership role in research in any hospital in Singapore. He was responsible for leading the hospital to secure its first NMRC Centre Grant ($3,000,000) to bolster its research capabilities in both clinical and translational research.  For his expertise in Orthobiologics and Cell Therapy, he was also promoted to the Campus Service Chief for the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre to coordinate cell therapy efforts within the hospital. Currently, Asst Prof Wong have more than 65 peer reviewed journal articles to date, with H-index of 20, and accumulated more than $2 million in funding for research.

Asst Prof Francis Wong has 2 main clinical interests:

Firstly, in sports medicine and sports surgery, in particular cartilage regeneration and restoration, where he became the very first Travelling Fellow of the International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation Society (ICRS) to represent South-East Asia, and is currently a member of the NextGen Committee in ICRS. He was awarded the Vericel-ICRS Clinical Travelling Fellowship in 2019, where he learnt cartilage repair and restoration techniques from world renowned joint preservation and cartilage restoration orthopaedic surgeons such as Professor Tom Minas from Paley Orthopaedic and Spine Institute, Professors Daniel Saris and Aaron Krych from Mayo Clinic, and Professor Brian Cole from MidWest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. He was also trained in arthroscopic cartilage repair and restoration techniques by  Professor Tomasz Piontek from Rehasport, Medical University Poznan, Poland. Asst Prof Francis Wong is able to offer the full range of cartilage restoration and repair surgeries for suitable patients. For his clinical work and patient service, he is the Award Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) STAR category in 2022 and is regularly invited as expert faculty for various professional societies such as the ICRS and Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association.

Secondly, Asst Prof Francis Wong has a special interest in healing complex wounds using innovative technologies, including limb salvage surgery for diabetic foot wounds. He has received significant university funding to venture into various Clinical Trials that seeks to improve the healing rate of complex orthopaedic surgery wounds and is currently the programme leader of the hospital’s multi-disciplinary orthopaedic surgery wound and lower limb salvage service: The Diabetic Limb Salvage (DLS) clinic, where nurses, doctors, and podiatrists come together to heal difficult wounds and give patients a new lease of life to walk again. In view of the abovementioned commitments to wound care, he is currently serving as the Chairman of the Wound Committee in Sengkang General Hospital, bestowed the title of Honorary Senior Lecturer in Cardiff University, and sits on several advisory boards as key opinion leader for industry leaders such as CellResearch Corporation, 3M, Molnlycke, and Urgo. He is also being invited regularly as expert faculty from various wound societies to provide his insights and expertise in wound healing.



  • MBBS (Singapore)
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • MMed (Ortho) (Singapore)
  • MCI (NUS) (Singapore)
  • FRCS (Ortho) (Edinburgh)
  • FAMS (Singapore)
  • PhD (Singapore)

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

Academic, Hospital & Institutional appointments: 
  • Director, Research, Sengkang General Hospital
  • Chair, Wound Committee, Sengkang General Hospital
  • Campus Service Chief, SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre, Sengkang General Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • Clinical Lecturer - NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, 
  • Clinical Teacher and Adjunct Lecturer – NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine,
  • Clinical Physician Faculty Member, SingHealth Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program

Committee and Membership appointments in Professional Societies:
  • Fellow, International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation Society (ICRS)
  • Executive Committee, Stem Cell Society Singapore 
  • Fellow, Academy of Medicine, Singapore (Orthopaedic Surgery)
  • Executive Committee Member, Singapore Orthopaedic Association
  • Member, AO Trauma Foundation
  • Member, Asia-Pacific Knee, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Society (APKASS)


  • Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) – STAR - 2022
  • National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Transition Award 2022
  • Special Recognition Award NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine 2020 
  • SingHealth Outstanding Faculty Award: PGY 1 programme – 2020
  • Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) – Silver – 2020
  • International Cartilage Research Society (ICRS): 14th World Congress 9 – 12th April 2018: Certificate of Achievement: Merit Award 
  • National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Research Training Fellowship Award - 2017
  • Best Senior Resident Award, NUHS Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programme: 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Singapore Orthopaedic Association: Young Orthopaedic Investigator's Award 2013

Research Interests


Correct as of 3rd April 2023:
Citations: 1558
H-index: 20
I10-index: 41 

Top 10 publications:
  1. Wong KL, Zhang S, Wang M, Ren X, Afizah H, Lai RC, Lim SK, Lee EH, Hoi PHJ, Toh WS. Intra-Articular Injections of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes and Hyaluronic Acid Improve Structural and Mechanical Properties of Repaired Cartilage in a Rabbit Model. Arthroscopy. 2020 Aug;36(8):2215-2228.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2020.03.031. Epub 2020 Apr 14. PubMed PMID: 32302651. JIF: 5.973

  2. Wong KL, Zhang S, Heng Tan SS, Cheow YA, Lai RC, Lim SK, Po Hui JH, Toh WS. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes Promote Growth Plate Repair and Reduce Limb-Length Discrepancy in Young Rats. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2022 Jun 15;104(12):1098-1106. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.21.00789. Epub 2022 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 35175995. JIF: 6.558

  3. Wong KL, Lee BL, Tai BC, Law P, Lee EH, Hui HPInjectable 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. 2013 Dec;29(12):2020-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.09.074. JIF: 5.973

  4. Ow ZGW, Cheang HLX, Koh JH, Koh JZE, Lim KK, Wang D, Minas T, Carey JL, Lin HA, Wong KL. Does the Choice of Acellular Scaffold and Augmentation With Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Affect Short-term Outcomes in Cartilage Repair? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2022 Feb 28:3635465211069565. Doi: 10.1177/03635465211069565. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35225004. JIF: 7.010

  5. Zhang S, Wong KL, Ren X, Teo KYW, Afizah H, Choo ABH, Lai RC, Lim SK, Hui JHP, Toh WS. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes Promote Functional Osteochondral Repair in a Clinically Relevant Porcine Model. Am J Sports Med. 2022 Mar;50(3):788-800. doi: 10.1177/03635465211068129. Epub 2022 Jan 31. PMID: 35099327. JIF: 7.010

  6. Ow ZGW, Cheong CK, Hai HH, Ng CH, Wang D, Krych AJ, Saris DBF, Wong KL, LinHA. Securing Transplanted Meniscal Allografts Using Bone Plugs Results in Lower Risks of Graft Failure and Reoperations: A Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2022 Dec;50(14):4008-4018. doi: 10.1177/03635465211042014. Epub 2021 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 34633225. JIF: 7.010

  7. ZGW Ow, MSN Law, CH Ng, AJ Krych, DBF Saris, P Debieux, KL Wong, Lin HA. All-Cause Failure Rates Increase with Time Following Meniscal Repair Despite Favorable Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Arthroscopy. 2021 Dec;37(12):3518-3528. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2021.05.033. Epub 2021 May 29. PubMed PMID: 34058318. PMID: 34058318. JIF: 5.973

  8. Tan SSH, Tjio CKE, Wong JRY, Wong KL, Chew JRJ, Hui JHP, Toh WS. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes for Cartilage Regeneration: A Systematic Review of Preclinical In Vivo Studies. Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2021 Feb;27(1):1-13. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2019.0326. Epub 2020 Apr 15. PubMed PMID: 32159464. JIF: 7.376

  9. Teo AQA, Wong KL, Shen L, Lim JY, Toh WS, Lee EH, Hui JHP. Equivalent 10-Year Outcomes After Implantation of Autologous Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Versus Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation for Chondral Defects of the Knee. Am J Sports Med. 2019 Oct;47(12):2881-2887. doi: 10.1177/0363546519867933. Epub 2019 Aug 21. PubMed PMID: 31433674. JIF: 7.010

  10. Tan SHS, Wong JRY, Sim SJY, Tjio CKE, Wong KL, Chew JRJ, Hui JHP, Toh WS. Mesenchymal stem cell exosomes in bone regenerative strategies-a systematic review of preclinical studies. Mater Today Bio.2020 Jun;7:100067. doi: 10.1016/j.mtbio.2020.100067. eCollection 2020 Jun. Review. PubMed PMID: 32695985; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7364174. JIF: 10.761

Research Trials

  • Principal Investigator 
The Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Exosomes on Enhancing Meniscus Repair: A Translational Study towards Clinical Application
National Medical Research Council - Transition Award (TA)
  • Co-Principal Investigator 
Multi-PRonged Approach to Improving and Maximizing HEalthspan: PRIME
NMRC RIE 2025 Centre Grant
  • Administrator
  • Program leader - SKH multi-disciplinary orthopaedic surgery wound and lower limb salvage service: Team Orthopaedic Podiatry (TOP)
  • Administrator
    • Sengkang General Hospital - Orthopaedic Surgery Registry
    • Sports Medicine Registry
    • Lower Limb Complex Wounds (TOP) Registry