Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Dr Traian V. Chirila

Position: Director biomaterials and polymer research
Adj. Assoc. Professor, Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Adj. Res. Professor, School of Applied Chemistry

Affiliation: Lions Eye Institute

Postal Address:
Lions Eye Institute
2 Verdun Street
Nedlands WA 6009

Phone: +61 (08) 9381 0777

Research Profile

T. V. Chirila was born and educated in Romania, where he obtained a B.Eng. in polymer technology (1972) and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry (1981), both from the Polytechnic University of Timisoara. In 1983, he was granted residence in Australia and relocated to Perth. During 1984, he worked as a Research Fellow at Curtin University of Technology. In 1986, he joined the Lions Eye Institute as a Senior Scientist (later, Director of Department) with the main task of establishing a department for research and development of polymeric biomaterials with applications in eye surgery. Between 1989 and 1994, he was the Assistant Director (Research) of the institute. In 1992 he was made a Fellow of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). He holds honorary professorships with University of Western Australia (1992) and Curtin University of Technology (1999). Dr. Chirila has received the RACI Polymer Division Citation in 1993 and the RACI Applied Research Medal in 1999. In 2003, he was elected a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy of Scientists. Since 1987, he has obtained 22 research grants totalling A$ 6.2 million.

Dr. Chirila’s past and current research has contributed in several areas of biomaterials and polymer science, especially in the understanding of biomaterials and biocompatibility, development of polymers for intraocular implants, hydrogels, radiation-absorbing polymers, hydrophilic sponges, artificial cornea, artificial vitreous substitutes, calcification of polymers, interaction of laser radiation with polymers, photoresponsive polymers, sustained release of bioactive agents, tissue engineering, and the use of polymers in genetic therapies. He developed an artificial cornea, which is currently used in blind patients with significant clinical success. One of his recent research interests consists of the mechanism of spontaneous calcification of hydrogels, an issue of importance in the medical applications of polymers. His activity has resulted to date in 109 publications and 21 patents. He also presented over 110 communications at scientific meetings, and lectured as a visiting professor or scientist in China, USA, Japan, Romania, Italy, France, and Switzerland.

Selected Publications

  1. Chirila T.V., Barrett G.D., Russo A.V., Constable I.J., van Saarloos P.P. and Russo C.I.: Laser-induced damage to transparent polymers: chemical effect of short-pulsed (Q-switched) Nd:YAG laser radiation on ophthalmic acrylic biomaterials. II. Study of monomer release from artificial intraocular lenses. Biomaterials, 11(5): 313-320, 1990.
  2. Chirila T.V., Cooper R.L., Constable I.J. and Horne R.: Radiation-absorbing hydrogel-melanin blends for ocular devices. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 44(4): 593- 604, 1992.
  3. Chirila T.V. and van Saarloos P.P.: Ablation of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) by 193-nm excimer laser radiation. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 44(8): 1355-1363, 1992.
  4. Chirila T.V., Constable I.J., Crawford G.J., Vijayasekaran S., Thompson D.E., Chen Y.C., Fletcher W.A. and Griffin B.J.: Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) sponges as implant materials: In vivo and in vitro evaluation of cellular invasion. Biomaterials, 14(1): 26-38, 1993.
  5. Chirila T.V., Vijayasekaran S., Horne R., Chen Y.C., Dalton P.D., Constable I.J. and Crawford G.J.: Interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) as a permanent joint between the elements of a new type of artificial cornea. J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 28(6): 745-753, 1994.
  6. Chirila T.V., Hicks C.R., Dalton P.D., Vijayasekaran S., Lou X., Hong Y., Clayton A.B., Ziegelaar B.W., Fitton J.H., Platten S., Crawford G.J. and Constable I.J.: Artificial cornea. Prog. Polym. Sci., 23(3): 447-473, 1998.
  7. Vijayasekaran S., Chirila T. V., Robertson T. A., Lou X., Fitton J. H., Hicks C. R. and Constable I. J.: Calcification of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) hydrogel sponges implanted in the rabbit cornea: A 3-month study. J. Biomater. Sci. Polym. Edn, 11(6): 599-615, 2000.
  8. Chirila T. V.: An overview of the development of artificial corneas with porous skirts and the use of PHEMA for such an application. Biomaterials, 22(24): 3311-3317, 2001.
  9. Chirila T. V., Rakoczy P. E., Garrett K. L., Lou X. and Constable I. J.: The use of synthetic polymers for delivery of therapeutic antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. Biomaterials, 23(2): 321-342, 2002.
  10. Chirila T. V., Gridneva Z., Morrison D. A., Barry C. J., Hicks C. R., Hill D. J. T., Whittaker A. K. and Zainuddin: Spontaneous calcification of acrylic hydrogels in abiotic calcifying media and the relevance of ionic solute effects. J. Mater. Sci. Lett., in press, 2004 (acceptance date: 25 Sep. 2003).


  • Fully equipped laboratories for organic and polymer synthesis
  • Rheometer
  • Fully equipped tissue culture laboratory
  • Microscopy and histopathology facilities