Microengineering Approaches for Tissue Engineering and Developmental Biology
Speaker: Dr. Yubing Sun, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Date: Sep 29, 2017; Time: 2:30 pm Location: UTEB 175
Abstract: Early stages of human neural development include neural induction, shaping, folding, and closure of neural tubes. Current understanding of early neural development relies on animal studies. However, insights in human neural development mechanism are very limited, largely due to the inaccessibility of human embryo, lack of in vitro models, and ethical concerns. In this talk, I will first discuss our recent experimental and computational works using a series of microengineered tools to model the neural induction, polarization, and bending of neural tubes. Our results demonstrate that biomechanical cues, in addition to morphogen gradient, also play functional roles during multiple stages of neurulation. Direct measurement of cell shape and contractile forces depicted their important roles in regulating the cell fate decision during neural induction. By dynamically changing the shape of cells using an expandable membrane, we further confirm the possibility to tune the cell fate by solely modulating cell shape. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss how mechanical cues regulate the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, including their neural differentiation and anterior-posterior patterning. Together, we provide a novel mechano-chemical model of neural development, which provides novel insights in the biomechanics of embryogenesis and morphogenesis.
Biographical Sketch: Yubing Sun is an assistant professor for the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is also a faculty member of Molecular & Cellular Biology Graduate Program and Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2015, and his B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China. His Ph.D. work with Professor Jianping Fu established the Hippo/YAP-dependent mechanosensitivity of human pluripotent stem cells. His current research interests include mechanotransduction, stem cell biology, microfabrication, developmental biomechanics, lab-on-chip, biosensing, and ultrasound technologies.