Research interests

Our main research interests exist in the physical modeling of cell and tissue contacts in two- and three-dimension. For two-dimensional systems, we utilize the concept of ""polymer-supported membranes"", which act as compatible interlayers to bridge hard solids (metal, glass, plastic, and semiconductors) and soft, biological matters. Owing to its two-dimensional fluidity, such molecular constructs can be used to locally display/manipulate biofunctional molecules, e.g. functional micro/nano-patterns, micro-gradients, for regulating the fate of cells and cell ensembles. This strategy is also applied for three dimensional systems, where the spatial and mechanical micro-environments around cells can be tuned in a quantitative manner. In addition to interdisciplinary collaboration with external collaborating partners, we carry out intensive collaboration with groups in developmental/cell biology, parasitology, and theoretical modeling within the CellNetwork program.

 

Methods applied

As an experimental biophysics lab, we utilize combinations of various physical techniques, such as micro-interferometry, imaging ellipsometry, FRAP, TIRF single molecule tracking, electrochemical impedance, interface rheology, advanced x-ray/neutron scattering.