Current Research and Scholarly Interests
The overall theme of my research is to identify and reconstruct the key morphodynamic features of the hierarchical neural organizations in developmental, pathological, and remodeling phases. The insights from these investigations have direct implications for developing tissue regenerative strategies that could induce desirable behaviors of endogenous or exogenously grafted cells. My experimental model is developed on hydrogel-based 3D engineered tissues to elucidate the roles of the biomechanical stimuli, the temporospatial conditions of the soluble biological factor gradients, and the relative spatial distribution of the different cell types. In addition, there is a parallel effort to translate the 3D tissue design strategies into a cell-based high-throughput platform for efficient screening of the biologically active molecules. The multiscale features of these investigations are implemented by interdisciplinary collaboration across the fields of microfabrication, drug delivery, microfluidics, biomaterials, bioimaging, computational analysis and cell biology.