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Developing the next generation of regenerative medicine-based therapies requires a critical understanding encompassing biology, materials science, physiology, medicine, and engineering. Therefore, my research interest lies in:
Aim1: Development of novel stem cell-based therapeutics for tissue regeneration – We try to (1) develop an efficient strategy to direct lineage-specific in vitro commitment of patient-specific pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into various musculoskeletal cells, including teno-/osteo-/chondro-/adipo-/myogenic progenitors, and insulin-secreting beta cells by integrating insoluble, matrix-based cues along with soluble cues, and (2) evaluate their tissue regeneration efficacy by biomimetic material-assisted in vivo transplantation and (3) understand cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions using traction force microscopy with FRET biosensors.
Aim2: Development and design of cutting-edge biomaterials for recapitulating stem cell niche and disease microenvironments, including degenerative diseases (pterygium, podocyte dysfunction, keloid skin disorder, and osteoarthritis) and various head & neck cancers, in terms of mechanotransduction – We try to (1) design and fabricate novel hydrogel-based 3D scaffolds with biomimetic and hierarchical structures for stem cell fate commitment, novel co-culture system, and tumor microenvironment (TME) using 3D printing, 3D melt-electrospinning/spraying, microfabrication techniques and (2) develop functional in vitro disease model platforms as an organ-on-a-chip model and (3) cell surface engineering to modulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions for various cellular functions and their subsequent contribution to in vivo tissue repair.
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