Stem cells are attractive cell sources for regenerative medicine due to their unique capacity of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple lineages. Specifically, our research focuses on the following areas:
I. Fundamental: Understand how microenvironmental cues regulate stem cell fate. We are interested in understanding the effects of interactive signaling on stem cell in 3D and results from such studies would help predict stem cell phenotype in vivo and direct rational design of stem cell niche for tissue engineering applications.
II. Technological: Develop controlled delivery system to direct stem cell differentiation in situ. Our goal is to develop a controlled release system for sustained delivery of synergistic genetic signals to direct stem cells differentiation in situ.
III. Translational: Stem cells for targeting and delivery of therapeutic factors. Many disease processes are associated with abnormal blood supply, cell death and eventual loss of tissue structure and function. We are interested in engineering stem cells for targeting and delivery of therapeutic factors to restore normal vascularization and promote tissue regeneration. Findings from such study would have great translational potential that may benefit patients in the future.