My group is interested in how cells repair and rebuild tissues and organs after injury. Informed by in vivo animal studies, we develop biomimetic tissue culture models that emulate tissue repair and morphogenesis of soft (such as skin, tendon, muscle) and mineralized (bone, tooth) tissues. Using these model systems, we investigate the molecular and mechanical signaling mechanisms that control tissue repair and regeneration. By employing this reverse tissue engineering approach, we ultimately aim to develop novel strategies in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering that efficiently accelerate the healing of injured tissues and organs in clinical settings.
Although our model systems are widely applicable to a broad variety of biomedical applications, the emphasis of our current research is on skin wound healing and bone regeneration. More specifically, we are interested in:
1. understanding the role of tissue mechanics and extracellular matrix remodeling in skin wound closure. 2. investigating how various cell types including vascular cells, fibroblasts, epithelial and immune cells coordinate tissue closure. 3. engineering tissue platforms for screening chemical and biophysical cues that promote skin and bone regeneration in vivo.