by Dr. Tan Boon Cheong

MBBS (MU),. MS Ortho (MU)

Many issues ago I did very briefly mentioned about stem cell treatment in orthopaedics, but only in a few sentences. Stem Cell Therapy has gained increasing popularity in orthopaedic treatment especially in knee osteoarthritis in the last few years. Stem cells are not only used for articular cartilage regeneration, but also used for osteonecrosis, fracture healing, osteochondral defects and tendinopathies.

The two most common sources of adult stem cells for clinical application in orthopaedics are the bone marrow and adipose tissue. Bone marrow aspirate is first harvested and centrifuged, Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) which contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) will then be produced. When lipoaspirate has been treated by enzymes and has undergone differential centrifugation, a layer of Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) which contains MSCs will be obtained. With the advancement of technology today, industry players have managed to obtain better stem cell count with each centrifugation; Thus, making the cultivation of stem cells easier and faster. 

Although stem cells have been widely used in orthopaedic treatment, stem cell usage in knee osteoarthritis has interested patients more than others. With recent advancement, more research articles have been able to show the regeneration of articular cartilage in knee osteoarthritis with stem cell treatment. Even though most of these studies were small-scaled, but they have shown promising results.

Stem cell application in knee osteoarthritis can be in two ways. The first will involve a minor operation through arthroscopy of the knee. During the arthroscopy procedure, the cartilage defect on the joint surface will be identified and prepared. The stem cells will then be used to fill up the defect (implantation). The second method which is much simpler is direct intra-articular injection into the knee joint. This usually goes together with hyaluronic acid (gel).

Having said about the use of stem cells in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, not every patient with knee osteoarthritis is suitable to be treated with stem cell as the patient must be well selected. Knees with severe osteoarthritis should not have Stem Cell Therapy performed on them as this will result in poor outcomes, for them knee replacement surgery is their only option. Do bear in mind, Stem Cell Therapy in knee osteoarthritis is not permanent. Several studies have shown that the effects only last a range of 2 to 5 years. 

One major drawback of stem cells  being widely used in knee osteoarthritis is the cost. The cost of stem cell treatment can range from RM12000 to RM 20000 (USD 3000 to 5000) per knee per treatment. Moreover, this cost will not be covered by medical insurance.

I believe that the usage of stem cells in knee osteoarthritis treatment in the years to come as more studies are conducted will be able to provide us with better evidence on the outcomes of Stem Cell Therapy. Therefore, before one decides to have this treatment, it would be great to first have a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon as every patient differs. 

Image(s) courtesy of


It is usually a taboo for an artist to mix business in the past as most believe that artists should be ‘pure’ to create. However, when talking to Iven Lee, a renowned multidisciplinary illustration artist from Xiamen China, founder of Xiamen Yan Tan Orange Culture Creative Co. Ltd and Fearless Trend Art, his answer was that he is different from a normal artist, creator or businessman in general as he sees himself as an all rounder that blends art and business into his artistic journey. Creator of SummerMew, IVEN, SCREW and many more, this artist described himself as a typical Gemini. When it comes to work and creativity, it is not only about passion but also the persistence to meet the end goals. 

Iven and partners started a design studio from scratch and began with just some small advertising jobs. The break came in early 2002 when he was selected to create SummerMew, the Xiamen Tourism Ambassador for BRICS and was later interviewed live by CCTV (China Central Television). He believed that his dad was proud and happy for him although the latter was very ill and passed away three days later. They were very close. Another milestone was the formation of Fearless Trend Art Exhibition In 2018 where he answered the calling to contribute back into the society for the creative art industry. “It was not an easy task and I funded the project myself as I believe there is a potential for this but only time can tell,” said the artist. 

Iven is of the opinion that artists today are no longer just about creating but must be equipped with EQ, IQ and AQ (Art Quality). Unlike the old traditional one-direction artists, Iven believes that artists should behave like a tricycle and have three wheels where one represents EQ that is the study of society, second is about communication and last but not least, there should be a team involved business of creating value to one’s artwork. It is no surprise that Iven has very high expectations as he is benchmarking himself to his idols namely Murakami Takeshita, Andy Warhol and Jeff Khoons. His ideology is to bridge both Eastern and Western art from different perspectives including lifestyle, culture, business, etc. 

“Western art is usually more positive that involves continuity, whereas Eastern art is more about looking to the past and focusing on traditional culture,” he opined. He continued saying that Western creatives are more matured and the Eastern presentations are still very much in the development stage. He is a regular speaker in Tsinghua University and conferences including those organized by Alibaba and many more. He believes that creative art is very important in today’s hectic and intense world as the former can help balance and ease the tension between real life cruel expectations and the harmony within. Ivan advocates the up and coming generation to stay focus and stay original of what one has set out to achieve. “Don’t be too emotional and end up killing the enthusiasm!” he continued saying “Learn to respect both the consumer and the market. A Coke is a Coke, all Cokes are the same and as good.”  

Lastly when asked about the future of creative art, Iven answered with confidence that the future of creative art looks promising as it is not only about trendy culture and art, it is also about patriotism. “It is a good sign when a country has its own cultural identity and spirit. This shows that the upcoming generation have achieved its very own branding and will no longer blindly follow big brands but quality brands that communicate in the same wavelengths”. Iven believes that with the current fast communication systems and platforms, creative art has already started its penetrations and influences into the society. It is inevitable that soon this industry will play a very important role in the sustainability and the future of the society and the world.  





Text by CHT 


Shirley Keon

Couture Designer & Owner of Keon Couture 

高级服装定制设计师和Keon Couture经营者

Shirley Keon features ubiquitously at the atrium of Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, a hotel that exudes French sophistication interlaced with the elegant and chic Australian style of hospitality. This time, with Australian couturier extraordinaire Shirley Keon’s work emblazoned across its Atrium Gallery, Sofitel pays homage to the fashion icon in a specially commissioned body of work by photographer Heidi Victoria that showcases the story of Keon in her Collins Street Studio.

Inspired and trained by her mother, Keon was sewing and creating her own clothes at an early age, in an era that celebrates authentic and organic works of art by hand, long before digital domination. “My mother instilled in me the beauty of creating individual and unique pieces.”

A couturier with a long list of celebrity and socialite clients, Keon started her career as a seamstress in the famed Flinders Lane, embroidering a name for herself stitch by stitch. She honed her skills in garment construction and hand detailing while attending night school to master fashion design and pattern making. “I’ve always drafted my own patterns.  I believe the pattern and construction of a garment are signatures of couture.”

Keon works with fabrics from the houses of Valentino, Armani and Givenchy. Sometimes she wonders if her idol Valentino uses the same fabrics. “Valentino has always been my inspiration and I admire his fabulous couture collections.”  

“I’ve always drafted my own patterns. I believe the pattern and construction of a garment are signatures of couture.”

The couturier’s success would not have been possible or meaningful without the love and support of her husband Philip Keon, who is a jewellery designer himself. Both make a chic and sophisticated couple among the Melbourne high society.

The most iconic and fashionable women in Australia and worldwide have worn the Keon label for years, a creation that has withstood the test of time and been passed down for generations. After five illustrious decades in the fashion industry, Keon has finally decided to retire from the fashion industry in March 2020, leaving behind a legacy of unsurpassed bespoke designs, artwork and enduring trends. 

“Shirley Keon”优美地渗透了墨尔本索菲特柯林斯酒店(Sofitel Melbourne on Collins)的大堂中庭,这家酒店散发着精细法式风情,掺杂着典雅别致的澳大利亚式待客之道。这一次,澳大利亚杰出的时装设计师 Shirley Keon的作品装饰在中庭画廊,索菲特酒店透过特别授权委托的摄影师Heidi Victoria的一系列作品向这位时尚偶像致敬,而Heidi位于柯林斯街工作室中展现了Shirley Keon的故事。

Shirley Keon自小在母亲的启发和训练下,开始缝制和制作自己穿戴的服装,那个时代推崇的是真实、有机朴质的手工艺术品,远早于数码时代。“母亲向我灌输了创作个性和独特美丽的哲理。”


从著名的弗林德斯巷(Flinders Lane)作为一名女裁缝师起始,Shirley Keon一针一线细密的缝纫出自己的名声。直至成为拥有众多名人和社会名流的服装设计师,在夜校期间,她磨练了服装结构和手工制作技能,掌握了时装设计和图案制作。“我一直在琢磨本身的特质设计模式。我认为服装的样式和构造是高级定制的标志。”


这位时装女设计师的重大成就离不开其丈夫Philip Keon尽心尽力的爱与支持,否则一切对她来说毫无意义。Philip Keon身为珠宝设计师,两人是墨尔本上流社会中时髦、长袖善舞的一对佳偶。


By Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik